TRIO/Student Support Services

 TRIO/SSS at Iowa Western Community College

TRIO/SSS at Iowa Western is a federal grant program that provides services to 175 eligible students for FREE!

TRIO/SSS staff support participants both inside and outside the classroom to help students achieve academic success, graduate from Iowa Western Community College, and transfer to a 4-year institution of his/her/their choice to complete a Bachelor’s degree. A variety of FREE services are provided to assist students.

Who is Eligible to Join?

All students who are selected for TRIO Student Support Services must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Student must be a “First-Generation” college student. This means your parent(s)/guardian(s) who raised you does NOT have a Bachelor Degree (4 year) or higher
  • Student must meet a certain income guideline based on information provided by the student on the FAFSA application or income verification documents
  • Student has a documented disability on file with Iowa Western’s Accommodation Services Office.

In addition to the qualifying criteria above, students accepted into the TRIO/SSS program must also meet the following requirements:

  • Be a U.S. Citizen or meet Federal Student Aid requirements for “permanent residency”
  • Be accepted or enrolled at Iowa Western Community College in a transferrable program with intent to transfer
  • You must not already possess a 2-year degree or higher
  • You cannot be already participating in another program, such as Pottawattamie Promise

How to Apply

Students who have been accepted to Iowa Western and are interested in participating in the TRIO/SSS program are required to submit an application. There is no deadline to apply. However, due to the limited space in the program (175 students), we encourage students to apply at the beginning of the academic year.  Admittance into the program is based on the review of a submitted application by the TRIO/SSS Program Director.

Upon admittance, into the program, students will complete a one-on-one orientation and onboarding process with the TRIO/SSS team.

What Our Recent Graduates are Saying about TRIO/SSS

“TRIO has so much to offer students. What is also nice about TRIO is your advisor is a one-stop-shop for what you need on campus. The TRIO lab has specialists that can help you with homework. Your advisor can help with that too.  Also, they have all kinds of resources that are at your disposal to help you become better at your studies and your schooling. When I first entered the TRIO program, I did not use it much at first. Now I use it to study, write papers, and help others. Do not be afraid to go to your TRIO advisor or the other TRIO team members because they were there to help you whether it is school-related personal issues or whatever might be going on.” -Nick Dover, Spring 2021 Graduate Culinary Arts AAS

“Since I came to Iowa Western everyone has been so helpful whether that be helping me find a class, advising or help with tutoring, etc. I have enjoyed my time with the TRIO program here and have really benefited from all of their services. I think I also have really grown as a person and from my work since joining TRIO. I have met so many great people through TRIO and would not have otherwise.” -Evan Gress, Fall 2021 Graduate Associate of Arts

“This is the third college that I’ve attended and I never was able to be a part of TRIO and I feel like I didn’t get accepted at a better time. These last couple of years have been crazy for me, but one thing about my TRIO family; they keep me so level focused, and just motivated. Days I wanted to give up, they encouraged me and gave me words of wisdom to keep believing in myself to keep pushing. I am finally graduating and it is by far one of the biggest things I’ve ever done in my life. It is something that I have been wanting to accomplish for so long.” -Shavonnedia Gaines, Spring 2021 Graduate Associate of Arts

TRiO Student Support

Contact Information

2700 College Rd
Council Bluffs, IA 51503

Ph: 712-325-3250

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Accepted TRIO/SSS Student Information

All students who are accepted into the TRIO/SSS program must complete an online orientation. If you have been accepted and need to complete this orientation, go to our Orientation Dashboard

What it Means to be Part of TRiO/SSS

As a TRIO/SSS student, you will be assigned to a TRIO/SSS advisor that will work with you individually to develop an educational plan that is specific to your academic needs and abilities. Your TRIO/SSS advisor will work closely with you and campus partners to make sure you are not only meeting the requirements to complete your degree at IWCC, but also thriving while you are here. Our goal is to offer guidance and assistance so that you feel comfortable making informed decisions on your own. We know from experience that your concerns extend beyond academics. Financial issues, personal and family health, and relationships might be among your thoughts and concerns throughout college. We are here to support you and direct you to appropriate resources to help you.
As a TRIO/SSS student, you will have exclusive access to professional academic tutoring for historically difficult subjects, that includes Math, Science, and Writing. Each professional tutor will work with you on a one on one or group basis to ensure your academic success in these difficult subjects, while also having a direct line of communication with your faculty instructor. While academic tutoring is not required for TRIO/SSS students, it is a resource that has been proven to make a difference in TRIO/SSS students’ academic performance.
As a TRIO/SSS student, you will have access to 20 plus Student Success Workshops. Workshop topics include academic skill development, stress management, career planning, and more. The TRIO/SSS staff will also host a variety of in-person workshops and lunch and learn activities throughout the academic year.
Having a solid understanding of your personal finances is key to success in and out of college. To help you increase your financial literacy, the TRIO/SSS team has partnered with campus partners and the surrounding community to deliver a variety of workshops including paying for college, budgeting, and financial success after college.
The TRIO/SSS team realizes that planning for your future begins from day one. To help you establish your transfer and career related goals, the TRIO/SSS team works with you individually through the use of assessments, like Career Coach, and other resources like Student Lingo and Virtual Job Shadow to help you narrow down where you want to go and what you want to do after graduating from IWCC. Once students have a college in mind, the TRIO/SSS team will help them schedule and attend college visits for free! Transportation provided by the TRIO/SSS program.
TRIO/SSS is committed to exposing TRIO/SSS students to the rich cultural heritage and thriving civic life of the Council Bluffs/Omaha area. With this, students will have the ability to engage in activities that will emphasize culturally relevant and linguistically appropriate experiences that that would not otherwise be exposed to in order to help them create a sense of identity, belonging, and shared purpose.
Each year TRIO/SSS hires returning students to serve as peer mentors. TRIO/SSS Peer Mentors will serve as leaders for incoming TRIO/SSS students and support them in transitioning to college by facilitating activities designed to assist with orientation and socialization. They serve as living examples of dedicated scholars and members of a learning community by modeling effective time management and study habits and by sharing effective study strategies AND they host fun social events, too!
TRIO/SSS Students who choose to live on campus have an exciting opportunity to join the TRIO/SSS Living Learning Community starting in the fall of 2022!
Living Learning Communities are small groups of students, faculty, and staff who work closely together creating a “community of learners.” Students who choose to live in an LLC, share a common interest, take one or more classes together, and participate in out-of-class experiences led by staff and faculty.

Benefits of living in the TRIO/SSS LLC

  • Enhanced academic and social opportunities

  • Connection to staff and faculty

  • Increased sense of connection to campus

  • Greater involvement in learning

  • Increased academic success, including persistence to graduation

Meet Our Staff

TRIO/SSS Program Director

Jodie Smith

Jodie Smith, M.A.

Ph: (712) 325-3479

First-Generation Student

TRIO/SSS Professional Academic Specialist-Writing

Stephanie Strine

Stephanie Strine

Ph: (712) 325-3250

TRIO/SSS Student Support Specialist

Amanda Pond

Amanda Pond

Ph: (712) 256-7056

First-Generation Student

TRIO/SSS Support Assistant

Carol Henle

Carol Henle

Ph: (712) 325-3250

TRIO/SSS Professional Academic Specialist-Math

Elna Hopkins

Elna Hopkins

Ph: (712) 325-3250

TRIO/SSS Professional Academic Specialist-Science

Grace Thomas

Ph: (712) 325-3250

First-Generation Student