Week of February 18, 2002



CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Feb. 15, 2002 Two programs on the campus of Southeast Missouri State University will celebrate National TRIO Day next week to honor students who succeed in college with the help of the nation's TRIO programs.

National TRIO Day is scheduled for Feb. 23. Prior to that, on Feb. 19, 50 students, 30 from Southeast's Upward Bound program and 20 from Southeast's Student Support Services, along with staff members, will travel to Jefferson City, Mo., with a contingent of TRIO programs from across the state to participate in the Declaration of TRIO Day in Missouri by the state legislature.

The celebration will continue on campus Feb. 20, when TRIO staff and students will set up an information table and will distribute brochures and pins from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the University Center lobby. On Feb. 21, T-shirt Day and an "Ask Me About Trio" pin day will be held on campus and throughout the Bootheel area at schools where Upward Bound students attend.

Since 1965, more than 10.5 million Americans, 67 percent of whom are from low income and working families, have benefited from the services of the TRIO pre-college and college programs that are designed to identify promising students, prepare them to do college level work, strengthen math and science skills, provide tutoring and support services to students once they reach campus, and provide information on academic and financial aid opportunities. TRIO has helped fund programs such as Upward Bound and Student Support Services, both of which are active on the Southeast campus and in surrounding communities, and Upward Bound Math/Science, the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Program and the Educational Opportunity Centers.

According to Dr. Arnold Mitchem, president of the Council for Opportunity in Education, an education association which represents TRIO students, college graduates, counselors and teachers nationwide, "These programs work because they are student-centered, performance-based and non-bureaucratic."

Trent Ball, assistant dean of students and director of minority student programs at Southeast Missouri State, said, "Our students will be celebrating TRIO Day throughout the week because our students want more people to know about the services of the TRIO Programs. The future of Missouri lies not only in recognizing our youth as our most precious resource, but in committing ourselves and our resources to providing equal access to higher education for each of them."

The University's Student Support Services (SSS) program is directed by Donnie Keys. It provides opportunities for academic development, assists students with basic college requirements, and serves to motivate students towards the successful completion of their postsecondary education. The goal of Student Support Services is to increase the college retention and graduation rates of its participants and facilitate the process of transition from one level of higher education to the next. The program was funded in 1991 and started in 1992. It currently serves 200 students.

The Student Support Services program at Southeast has experienced great success. The overall retention rate for Student Support Services students in 2000-2001 was 89 percent. The average cumulative grade point average of SSS students was 2.65 during that same year. Twenty-four students in the program graduated during 2000-2001, and those students attained an average cumulative grade point average of 3.0.

Three Southeast students in the Student Support Services program made presentations at the Missouri Association of Blacks in Higher Education Conference and 12 Southeast SSS students attended the Missouri Black Legislative Caucus Retreat, both during the 2000-2001 school year.

Debra Mitchell-Braxton serves as the University's director of Project Upward Bound, an organization that helps young people prepare for higher education. Upward Bound enables high school students with low income and who are potential first-generation college students with a need for academic support to achieve their educational goals. The Upward Bound program is designed to generate skills and motivation necessary to complete a program of secondary education and to enter and succeed in a post-secondary education.

Participants receive instruction in literature, composition, foreign languages, mathematics and science on the college campus after school, on Saturdays and during the summer. The program was funded in 1992 and started in 1993. Service is provided to 50 students from seven surrounding counties. Participating students attend a number of area high schools, including Cape Girardeau, Scott County Central-Sikeston, Charleston, New Madrid, East Prairie, Portageville and Caruthersville.

As access and retention services are an absolutely essential component of the federal strategy to ensure equal opportunity, Congress established the TRIO Programs more than 34 years ago. These programs enable Americans regardless of economic circumstance, race or ethnic background, to successfully enter college and graduate.

"In many communities throughout America, the TRIO programs are the only programs that help low-income Americans to enter college, graduate and move on to participate more fully in America's economic and social life," Mitchem said.

TRIO programs are designed to identify promising students, prepare them to do college level work, strengthen math and science skills, provide tutoring and support services to students once they reach campus, and provide information on academic and financial aid opportunities. Currently, about 2,500 TRIO Programs are hosted at more than 1,200 post secondary institutions and by more than 100 community agencies. The programs serve 746,000 young people and adults.

Russell Crawford, a Southeast freshman from Charleston, Mo., majoring in nursing, said "I have been an active TRIO participant since my seventh grade year. I have always been and will continue to be an active advocate for all of the TRIO programs. The TRIO programs have prepared me and will continue to prepare me, as I further my education in college."

Tameka Jones, a Southeast senior from St. Louis, majoring in health management, said, "I have been an active participant in TRIO programs since the beginning of my high school career. I was an Upward Bound participant and continued on to become an active member of Student Support Services. Upward Bound prepared me for attending college while Student Support Services has prepared me for surviving college. As a member of Student Support Services, I have been able to foster my leadership skills through attending and presenting at leadership conferences as well as networking with successful individuals who have helped pave the way for my success."

Wendy Tillmon, a Southeast senior from Portageville, Mo., majoring in social work, added, "As a first generation college student, I know that mentoring programs have been instrumental in helping me achieve my goal of graduating from college. My mentor has been a wonderful role model, motivator and teacher, as far as shaping me into who I am today and who I want to be in the future."

Thirty-nine percent of TRIO students are White, 36 percent are African-American, 16 percent are Hispanic, five percent are Native American and four percent are Asian. Sixteen thousand TRIO students have disabilities.

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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Feb. 12, 2002 A fourth week census report at Southeast Missouri State University shows total student enrollment at almost 9,000 for the spring 2002 semester.

Total combined undergraduate and graduate student headcount is 8,971, up three percent from this time last year and up from 8,713 after the first full day of spring semester classes which began Jan. 14.

Dr. Pauline Fox, vice president for administration and enrollment management, said, "I am pleased with the three percent increase in numbers of students, and our full-time equivalency went up even more than that. So, not only do we have more students, but they are taking a greater number of classes."

Total undergraduate student headcount stands at 7,593, up 2.1 percent from spring 2001.

Today's final census report shows: beginning freshman headcount at 116, down 11.5 percent from this time last year. Total returning freshmen headcount stands at 1,760, up 8.2 percent from spring 2001. Total sophomore headcount is 1,500, down 1.3 percent from this time last year. Total junior headcount is 1,571, up 10.5 percent from spring 2001. Total senior headcount is 1,954, up 3.4 percent from spring 2001.

Total graduate student headcount is 1,378, up 7.7 percent from this time a year ago. The number of degree seeking master's students stands at 794, up 12 percent from this time a year ago. The number of non-degree seeking graduate students stands at 460, up 2.7 percent from this time last year. Total headcount for graduate students in the specialist program stands at 113, up 1.8 percent from spring 2001. Today's report also shows doctoral student headcount at 11, exactly the same as last year's 11.

Total undergraduate student credit hours are currently 91,279, up 3.9 percent from spring of last year. Combined undergraduate and graduate student credit hours stand at 97,792, up 4.1 percent from spring 2001.

Total undergraduate full-time equivalency is up as well. Today's report shows that figure at 6,085, up 3.9 percent from this time a year ago. The combined undergraduate and graduate student full-time equivalency stands at 6,627, up 4.2 percent from spring 2001.

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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Feb. 15, 2002 -- The Office of New Student Programs at Southeast Missouri State University is hosting a Scholarship First STEP orientation on Friday, Feb. 22 for those students who are receiving a Governor's, Regents', President's or University Scholarship from Southeast Missouri State.

First STEP activities will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the University Center.

The day's activities will begin with Dr. Jan Stephens, Southeast provost, who will welcome students and their families. Dr. Kenneth W. Dobbins, president of Southeast Missouri State, will present brief remarks at a reception at 3 p.m.

The Scholarship First STEP allows for those scholarship recipients to hear more about the broad educational opportunities at Southeast, including the Honors Program.

If you would like more information regarding the Scholarship First STEP date, please contact Theresa Haug at (573) 651-5166.

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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Feb. 15, 2002 Dr. Robert Weise, professor of the life sciences and pastoral ministry at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Mo., will speak on the subject of human cloning and other bio-ethical issues Feb. 28 in the University Center Ballroom.

Dr. Wiese will begin his presentation at 7 p.m. and will speak for an hour. After his presentation, Weise will take questions. This presentation is open to the public. Anyone who has an interest in these subjects is invited to attend, listen and ask questions.

Wiese has a bachelor of science in education degree from Eastern Illinois University. He holds master's and doctoral degrees in biology from the University of Illinois and a master's of divinity degree from Concordia Seminary. Presently, he is associate professor of practical theology and occupies the endowed chair of Pastoral Ministry in the Life Sciences (Biomedical Ethics).

The Bioethics chair is the only one of its kind among Lutheran seminaries in North America that has its focus on the relationship between the scriptures, theology and the life sciences and how they converge in the training and ministering of pastors. Weise has testified before the National Bioethics Advisory Commission regarding human embryo research and cloning.

This presentation is being sponsored by the Lutheran Chapel of Hope, the Campus Ministry of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and Rev. David Dissen, vacancy pastor.

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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Feb. 15, 2002 Child Care Resource and Referral in partnership with the Small Business Development Center at Southeast Missouri State University and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is sponsoring a program Feb. 28 called "Developing Your Child Care Business."

Participants in this informative session will receive an overview of Child Care Resource and Referral and its services, will complete an application form and will learn about a child care class to be offered in Cape Girardeau this spring.

A free registration and information session is planned for 6:30 p.m. in the Family Resource Center at 1202 S. Sprigg Street in Cape Girardeau.

To register for the Feb. 28 orientation session, please call (573) 290-5595 or toll-free (800) 811-1127.

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