Westminster Names Austin Director of TRIO Student Support Services

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. Westminster College has appointed Erik Austin as director of the college’s new TRIO Student Support Services program to benefit underrepresented students.

Austin, who worked with the TRIO SSS program at the University of Pittsburgh-Bradford, will oversee the college’s efforts to provide services and resources to first-generation, income-eligible students and students with disabilities. Of the currently enrolled Westminster students, 38% are identified as low income, 17% are first-generation college students and 7% have a declared disability.

“I am excited for our program to provide additional advising and support services that support the already substantial support network at Westminster College,” says Austin. “As a first-generation college student myself, I know just how difficult it can be to navigate the world of higher education. The impact that a program like TRIO SSS can have on a student is impossible to overstate, and I’m looking forward to helping our very first TRIO cohort meet and exceed their goals.”

Austin earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Pittsburgh-Bradford and a master’s from Purdue University.

Supported by the U.S. Department of Education, the TRIO SSS program will offer eligible Westminster students a suite of resources that promote retention, good academic standing, completion and placement in graduate schools and/or careers. Westminster received a $1.3 million grant to support this new program for the next five years, with the possibility of renewal.

Copyright 2021 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.