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Office of Vice President and
Chief of Staff
Florida Gulf Coast University
10501 FGCU Blvd S.
Fort Myers, FL. 33965-6565

Phone: (239) 590-1006
Fax:     (239) 590-1066

Press Release


Student Support Services Participants Achieve Great Success at FGCU

FORT MYERS, FL - Forty-three seniors in the Classic Student Support Services (SSS) program graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University on April 29. The Classic SSS program serves college students who are the first generation in their families to attend college, have low incomes and/or have a documented disability in need of academic support services.

Students eligible for the program have a desire to attend and finish college but need some additional support to guide them on their academic journey. Two of the SSS participants received university awards that distinguished them from others in their graduating class. Malissa Sanon was one of eight students inducted into the 2011-2012 FGCU Hall of Fame. The award is given to students who have demonstrated leadership skills, service and scholarship. Dustin Chisum was awarded the FGCU Student of the Year. The award is given to a student who has demonstrated outstanding leadership, scholarship and service to the university and the community.

The two Student Support Services programs at FGCU - Classic, and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) - must report data on each participant annually to the Federal Department of Education. The retention and academic standing rates, calculated based on the university academic year, were outstanding among the 289 participants served by both programs during the 2010-2011 academic year. The retention rate among Classic participants was 90 percent, and the rate for STEM participants was 93 percent. Of the 169 students in Classic,160 (95 percent) returned in good academic standing; and of 120 participants, 112 (93 percent) in the STEM program did likewise.

Amber Hughes, a Moore Haven resident and a participant in the STEM program, was awarded a $1,200 scholarship by the Florida Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel for her outstanding academic achievement and community service. Hughes is a sophomore majoring in biology and enjoys mentoring in the SSS program. In addition, she is involved in the FGCU Honors Program as well as with many of the university's activities while maintaining an outstanding grade point average in a challenging major. Hughes was also chosen to participate in a 10-week summer internship through The Washington Center in Washington, D.C. She was awarded a scholarship to pay for the entire internship by the State of Florida.

For more information, media representatives should contact Cathy Doyle, director for Student Support Services and Outreach Programs at (239) 590-7909.

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