The Western Iowa Tech Community College TRIO-Student Support Services Program now in its 13th year at Sioux City's WITCC , has been expanded with offices now staffed in Cherokee and Denison WITCC campuses.
The program, funded through a five-year grant by the U.S. Department of Education, assists eligible students who are accepted for enrollment at WITCC, and who plan to graduate with an associate's degree within four years, or who plan to transfer to a four-year college or university after completing theit WITCC coursework.
In Cherokee, the Student Support Services staff consists of Program Director Sara Klatt, who will be housed on the Cherokee WITCC Campus, and Secretary Jenn Nixon.
To be accepted into the program, students must meet at least one of the criteria - 1. You are a first generatiuon college student, meaning neither parent has a four-year degree; 2. You meet the federal income guidelines based on family size; 3. You have a documented physical, mental, or learning disability.
Interested students are highly encouraged to visit the reception area in Cherokee or Denison to pick up an application. Students also can call to set up an appointment to meet with a staff member. Call 712-225-0238 to contact WITCC in Cherokee, or call 1-800-352-4649, extension 2499 for Klatt and her staff.
"This is a great opportunity for our students," said Darla Struck, Director of the Cherokee Campus and Northern Service Area for WITCC. "They can apply through Sara at no charge. A majority of our students would qualify for this needs-based program. It's designed to encourage students to go on and get their four-year degree. We're hoping the program will attract more students to WITCC and it's for adults, too."
Klatt said the program has a ceiling of 140 students total for both the Cherokee and Denison campuses, and after that total is reached, prospective students would be put on a waiting list.
Klatt explained that eligible students accepted into the program must maintain a certain GPA and they would be monitored as they proceed regarding academic needs.
As part of the program, Klatt and her staff will provide academic advising, financial aid guidance, scholarship opportunities, leadership opportunities, transfer assistance, campus visits, cultural activities, informational workshops, career exploration, free tutoring, peer mentoring, and one-on-one attention focused on an individual's needs.
"Many of the activities, social events and services we will provide are geared at connecting the students to our campus," said Klatt. "The benefit for Cherokee and Denison students is that they won't have to go to Sioux City for the program. We brought it to them!"
Klatt, who recently relocated to Cherokee from Sioux City where she formerly served at a WITCC Housing Supervisor, said her offic hours here will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Struck said she and Klatt will begin visiting with area businesses, civic groups and schools after the holidays to share information about the program that will begin in the Spring 2011 Semester.
"We need to introduce Sara to the community and to show all that WITCC has to offer, including all our other programs, and meetings space for the Auditorium, and Conference Center," added Struck.
Klatt was born in Oelwein, but her grandparents Howard and Darlene (Larsen) Klatt of Oelwein are Cherokee natives. Her great grandparents operated Klatt Hardware in Cherokee several years ago.
Klatt received her B.A. degrees from Upper Iowa University, and her M.A. Degree in Psychology and Sociology from the University of South Dakota.