One West University Boulevard, Brownsville, Texas 78520 | 956-882-8200

Frequently Asked Questions

WHAT IS SSSP/ASPIRE?

 

What is SSSP/ASPIRE?

It is a TRIO grant known as Student Support Services Program/ASPIRE. We serve to motivate students toward completing their postsecondary degree. Our goal is retain and graduate our participants, which will help them go from one level of higher education to the next.  

What does ASPIRE mean?

It is an acronym that means A Support Program in Reaching Excellence. 

Where is the office located?

The office is located in Cardenas North 112 and is open Monday through Friday 8am-5pm. Our phone number is 882-8250.  

Who can join SSSP/ASPIRE?

SSSP/ASPIRE is open to those students with an academic need who meet one of the following:

  1.   First generation
  2.   Income eligible (according to annual TRIO income levels) or;
  3.   Documented disability

What does that word “first generation” mean?

It means an individual both of whose parents did not complete a bachelor’s degree in the United States.  

What if my sister/brother wants to apply and they are already in college?

Both of you are still eligible to participate. The term “first generation” applies only to parents.  

How do I join SSSP/ASPIRE?

Come by our office located in Cardenas North 112 to pick up an application. We’ll ask you to complete the application and bring it back with a copy of your or your parent’s previous year’s signed tax return.  

Can anyone participate in the SSSP/ASPIRE program?

Yes, but since the program is funded to serve only 275 students; they must apply, meet the eligibility criteria and receive as many types of the program services necessary-not just one type.  

Are there any other requirements or criteria?

Yes, just a few more. According to our federal regulations, they state “a student must be a U.S. citizen or national of the United States or meet the residency requirements for federal student financial assistance; he or she must be enrolled at UTB/TSC; and have a need for academic support to pursue successfully a postsecondary educational program”. 

What services does SSSP/ASPIRE provide?

Personal counseling, career counseling, mentoring for freshmen and sophomores with a ASPIRE peer, tutoring in mathematics, english, reading, academic workshops and personal development workshops, academic advising and registration assistance. The program also offers a small computer lab for your use. We even assist you in transferring or entering graduate school! 

What kinds of workshops do they offer?

The workshops are tailored to the specific needs of our SSSP/ASPIRE students. For example, you may see academic workshops on how to use the internet to research a paper, algebraic word problems, commonly misused words (a grammar workshop!), or even something out of the ordinary. The personal development workshops are designed to expand your overall skills and knowledge. They may consist of managing time, how to create a resume, job searching and networking, handling stress or dealing with relationships.  

How long does it take to join?

The intake is a two part process. You tell us what day and time you are available and we’ll see you then! 

How long are you in SSSP/ASPIRE?

Since SSSP/ASPIRE is TRIO program focused on retention and graduation, you will receive services until you graduate, are no longer enrolled in the University or no longer participate. It is not a short term program.  

Do you offer any scholarships?

Our grant is fortunate enough to offer grant aid to current SSSP/ASPIRE students who are receiving a Pell grant. This money is a competition driven award with eligibility criteria and the amount will vary depending on funds.  

Does SSSP/ASPIRE offer incentives such as stipends to its students?

No. Unfortunately, we are prohibited from covering “tuition, fees, stipends, and other forms of direct financial support for staff or participants.” This also includes paying for books.  

How often do I have to come to SSSP/ASPIRE?

There are participation requirements which maintain your active status and continue to receive assistance. They are:

  • One advisement session during the semester
  • As a mentee, meet weekly with your mentor in the Peer Mentor component
  • Meet twice a month with the Director and/or Student Development Specialist who can help you stay on track and monitor your progress toward your degree and maintain active status to receive services.
  • Attend at least five tutoring sessions per semester
  • Attend three workshops or special events per semester
  • Maintain good class attendance and strive to maintain a 2.0 GPA

 

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