MECC Awarded $1.7M TRIO Grant to Support Tutoring, Completion

Big Stone Gap — Mountain Empire Community College is pleased to announce the college has received a $1.7M U.S. Department of Education TRIO grant to support students from disadvantaged backgrounds in completing a college degree. 

TRIO programs provide academic tutoring, personal counseling, mentoring, financial guidance, and other supports necessary for educational access and retention. The TRIO program has been in existence on MECC’s campus since 1983. More than 800,000 low-income, first-generation students and students with disabilities, from sixth grade through college graduation, are served by over 3,100 programs nationally. 

“We are excited and fortunate that MECC will be able to build on the success of 37 years of impactful programming through TRIO grants,” said MECC President Kristen Westover. “The grant process is competitive, and with both a strong application and history, we were successful in ensuring the program’s continuance.”

MECC applied for and was awarded the competitive grant, one of 1,311 Colleges nationwide. The College TRIO program currently serves 175 students annually. The grant is funded for a five-year period. 

“This is an incredible opportunity to continue the success of this long standing program,” said TRIO Director Jessica Ketron. “The impact of supporting students for a 37-year span can now continue to subsequent generations and help increase college degree attainment in MECC’s service region.  This grant provides the opportunity to support students from the beginning of their college journey all the way thru to graduation.”

Mountain Empire Community College is a comprehensive two-year public college serving residents of Dickenson, Lee, Scott, Wise and the city of Norton. The college offers more than 100 degree and certificate programs, with 96% of students receiving federal, state, and/or scholarship financial assistance. 

For more information on TRIO programs, including registrations for TRIO services, please contact Ketron at 276.523.2400 ext. 342 or by email at