American International College Awarded $1.15 Million Grant by U.S. Department of Education

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American International College (AIC) has received a Student Support Services grant in the amount of $1,155,070 from the United States Department of Education. The grant will be allocated over a five-year period for operational and scholarship funding to benefit the AIC Core Education (ACE) program.

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“American International College demonstrates its higher dedication to tomorrow’s graduate through its steadfast commitment to the intellectual, personal, and social growth of every scholar,” says Director of the Ace Program Terrence O’Neill.

American International College (AIC) has received a Student Support Services grant in the amount of $1,155,070 from the United States Department of Education. The grant will be allocated over a five-year period for operational and scholarship funding to benefit the AIC Core Education (ACE) program.

ACE is a federally funded program for first-generation college students to help assist them with the tools needed to succeed in college and to plan for success after graduation. Eligible students receive support in navigating campus services in addition to participation in workshops, cultural activities, and specialized programming. ACE offers personal mentoring, academic support, career counseling, disability referral services, financial aid assistance, and graduate school preparation.

Of the 160 students enrolled in ACE, many begin their college career with extraordinary financial needs or other challenging circumstances. According to AIC President Vincent Maniaci, “We get to know our students on a personal basis, and first-generation students frequently struggle more than those who come from an affluent background and have parents who have gone to college.”

Students accepted into the ACE program remain throughout their four-year college experience. Freshmen take part in First Year Experience, a three-credit course, which helps them acclimate to college life and acquire the necessary tools to succeed both academically and socially. The course includes a community outreach component in which students volunteer with social service organizations in the Greater Springfield area.

According to Interim Dean for Academic Success April Kearse, “First generation students often don’t have a point of reference or understanding of strategies for navigating academic success. Through this grant funding, ACE helps prepare them for the academic journey to graduation.”

Director of the ACE program Terrence O’Neill cited two recent examples of the program’s success, “ACE helped a single mom raising young children to graduation and a formerly homeless student complete her degree. She now works in a hospital.” ACE students are immersed in athletics, campus leadership, and other co-curricular activities.

“AIC demonstrates its higher dedication to tomorrow’s graduate through its steadfast commitment to the intellectual, personal, and social growth of every scholar,” says O’Neill. “The diversity of American International College’s student population is central to who we are. The ACE program is a microcosm of that diversity. The strength of this program can be found in the transformation of the individual student from the scared, uncertain freshman to the resourceful graduate. We celebrate successes all along the way up to the ultimate success, graduation.”

At American International College the goal is to help every student take full advantage of their college experience, recognizing that each student is unique. More information about American International College, the AIC Core Education (ACE) program, and additional programs and services offered to strengthen skills and make success achievable can be found online at http://www.aic.edu.

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Candy Lash
American international College
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