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Message from the Director

Welcome to Student Support Services (SSS) at Cal State San Marcos!

SSS was authorized by Congress in the mid 1960s as one of three original programs (including Upward Bound and Talent Search) to help Americans overcome class and social barriers to higher education. Now known as one of the Federal TRIO programs, (which currently consist of eight distinct programs), SSS is committed to continuing the fight for educational equality for students from low-income, first-generation, and disability backgrounds.

Hosted at CSUSM since 1993, SSS has diligently worked at providing “best practices” services and programs based on solid student development theories.  Working in collaboration with many other resources on campus, the primary purpose of our program can be stated in one simple phrase: increase the retention and improve the graduation rates of our student participants.  Within SSS, you will find a staff that is committed to working with you to help you reach your academic aspirations.

However, our goal of increasing the retention and graduation of traditionally underrepresented students in higher education can only be realized with your participation and commitment.  We encourage you to take advantage of the many opportunities for growth and development available to you over the next several years here at CSUSM.   You will find support through SSS as well as the general CSUSM community. We also acknowledge the important role of your family and friends who will provide you with encouragement on a more personal level.

Despite all the resources available, it is important to remember that your success will depend largely on you, the individual student. How can you be an active participant in your education? What are some of the unique contributions that you can provide to CSUSM and your community?  What measures can you take NOW to become your own best advocate for your education? Along the way, strive to develop and nurture your own resiliency as you face each new challenge.

Everyone in SSS encourages your involvement and participation in all aspects of your educational and personal development.  Reach out to the SSS staff, the TRIO community, your faculty, the CSUSM group of organizations and departments, and your peers for support as you transform your dream of achieving a college degree into reality.

The SSS staff looks forward to learning what YOU have to offer and exploring the various ways we can work together to make your time at CSUSM an exciting and worthwhile experience!

Heather Northway, M.A., NCC
Director, Student Support Services/TRIO
Cal State San Marcos