by Joe Wyatt Published August 11, 2020 Amarillo College has been awarded a pair of grants by the U.S. Department of Education that will provide more than $2.3 million over the next five years to sustain ongoing and highly successful student-success initiatives at AC’s West Campus and the AC—Moore County Campus. Both new awards are courtesy of the Department of Education’s Student Support Services (SSS) Program, which provides academic and other support services aimed at increasing retention and graduation rates primarily among low-income, first-generation or disabled college students. Eligible students are provided intensive career and academic advising, tutoring, coaching and other resources with the goal of increasing the likelihood that they will remain in college, complete a degree or certificate, or successfully transfer to a four-year school. AC’s SSS—STEM Health Sciences Grant received $261,888 in first-year funding which, when similarly allotted throughout the five years of the grant, will provide a total of $1,309,440 to annually support a minimum of 140 allied health and nursing majors immersed in programs based at AC’s West Campus. AC’s SSS-Moore County Campus Grant has been awarded $212,582 each of the next five years – a total of $1,062,910 – to annually support a minimum of 100 students regardless of major. Both these AC success initiatives received similar Department of Education funding from 2015-2020, and the College’s successful utilization of those resources carried due weight in what essentially was a competitive quest for this new round of funding, according to Jennifer Ashcraft, AC grants administration coordinator. “These are two very strong programs that are built into the fabric of the College, and both are deserving of this continued funding,” Ashcraft said. “Both programs reached or exceeded all the performance goals we set over the previous grant period, and we believe it significantly influenced our bid for these new funds.” The arrival of this new funding coincides with expiration of the five-year award AC received from the Department of Education in 2015, so each of the student-success initiatives being funded will proceed without interruption. Amarillo College is an equal opportunity community college.