Theses and Dissertations


Carolyn Sundy

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Davis, James E.

Committee Member

Ayers, W. Bruce

Committee Member

Armstrong, Christopher Clayton

Committee Member

Wiseman, William M.

Committee Member

King, Stephanie B.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Community College Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Educational Leadership


A variety of programs exist that provide assistance to underprepared and at-risk students at 2-year and 4-year institutions of higher education. One of these programs is Student Support Services (SSS), a federal program funded by the U. S. Department of Education. The SSS program provides opportunities for academic development, assists students with basic college requirements, and serves to motivate students toward the successful completion of their postsecondary education. The goal of SSS is to increase the college retention and graduation rates of its participants and help students make the transition from one level of higher education to the next. SSS may also provide assistance to students receiving Federal Pell Grants (84.063). Those eligible to participate in SSS programs include students from low-income families, those who are first-generation college enrollees and students with disabilities evidencing academic need. The program includes tutoring; academic counseling, personal counseling, career advising; study skills enhancement and personal development workshops. Assistance is also given to students to apply for various forms of financial aid, including state and federal grant programs and local scholarships. Most programs also provide cultural enrichment activities. This study investigates the impact of the SSS program on the retention of students at SKCTC. Participants in this study were 125 students in the SSS program and 125 non-SSS students who entered SKCTC in the fall of 2003 and ended in 2007. The study compares the demographic profile of these groups.