February 2, 2021

Dr.  Evora Baker Hired as CVCC TRIO Grant Director
In December of 2020, Central Virginia Community College (CVCC) hired Dr. Evora Michelle Baker as the college’s TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) grant director.  Her first day in her new job was January 10, 2021.
Consistent with CVCC’s mission, Dr. Baker will lead efforts in offering support to student participants as they adjust to the college environment, access and obtain appropriate services, become independent learners and self-advocates, and achieve their academic and personal goals.
Dr.  Baker explained, “I will help CVCC students by fostering an environment within the TRIO SSS Program that will allow students to achieve their goals.  This means helping students gain skills that are crucial to postsecondary education success by implementing services and education that is meaningful, pertinent, and individualized.”  She added, “Providing support and services to students that also support the CVCC mission and encompass the college's strategic plan will be crucial aspects of my work.”
The Federal TRIO Programs are outreach and student programs funded and implemented by the United States Department of Education to identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds.  
TRIO started as three programs implemented from 1964 to 1968 as part of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty.  TRIO now includes eight programs targeted to serve and assist low-income individuals, first-generation college students, and individuals with disabilities to advance through the academic system from middle school to postbaccalaureate programs.  CVCC will be focusing its efforts on the Student Support Services program, or TRIO SSS as it is also known.  Dr. Baker is CVCC’s first TRIO SSS grant director.
Prior to coming to CVCC, Dr.  Baker served as the Assistant Director of Shepherd University’s TRIO Upward Bound program in Shepherdstown, West Virginia.  In total, Dr.  Baker has over 15 years of experience in the higher education field.
“TRIO programs have a rich history of helping students transform their lives and break the generational curse of not pursuing postsecondary education,” said Dr.  Baker.  “My main goal in leading this TRIO Student Support Services program is to make a difference in the lives of the students the program serves and the CVCC campus at large.  I am excited to join the CVCC family and to be a part of bringing the TRIO tradition of student success to the CVCC campus.  I feel honored to have the opportunity to serve TRIO students and to become a part of the Lynchburg community.” 
Dr.  Baker holds a BA degree in History from Macalester College, a MAEd from the University of Phoenix, and a Doctor of Education in Leadership from the American College of Education.  
Her certifications include Georgia Professional Standards Commission Teaching Certifications in Secondary Education History (grades 6-12); Special Education General Curriculum (P-12); Special Education Social Science Cognitive Level (P-12); and the Quality Matters (QM) Online Teaching Certification.
Other notable accomplishments are membership in the Phi Beta Delta Honor Society for International Scholars (2020); Golden Key International Honour Society (2013) member; and receipt of the Golden Key International Honour Society Scholars Award in 2015.
There are three key student participant benefit components of the TRIO SSS program:
Academic TRIO SSS Benefits

  1. Free academic tutoring
  2. Personalized support to help students: transitioning from high school to CVCC, pursuing Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs, and transferring from CVCC to a 4-year institution
  3. Career services to help with career exploration and readiness skills
  4. Dedicated SSS Navigator/Counselor to provide individualized services
  5. One-on-one advisement to assist with course selection and registration
  6. Monitoring of academic progress and intervention when needed
  7. Assistance with planning, preparation, and application processes to 4-year colleges and universities
  8. Student success workshops designed to develop study skills, time management, test-taking strategies, academic writing workshops, and other college readiness skills

Financial TRIO SSS Benefits

  1. Financial aid advising and support
  2. Assistance completing the application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online
  3. Financial literacy workshops
  4. Assistance understanding financial aid and the various types of loans
  5. Help with finding and applying for scholarships

Personal TRIO SSS Benefits

  1. Individualized counseling for personal, career, and academic matters
  2. Personal and academic short and long-term goal setting
  3. Support for students transitioning from high school to CVCC, from CVCC to employment or a 4-year college program, and students participating in Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs
  4. Crisis intervention (referral to the appropriate organizations or campus department for assistance)
  5. Cultural and social events

Central Virginia Community College TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) participants must be U.S.  citizens or permanent residents accepted or currently enrolled.  Participants of TRIO SSS must demonstrate an academic need for services and be identified by at least one of the following criteria:

  1. Income eligible students as determined by the U.S.  Department of Education.
  2. First generation to college, which is defined as students whose custodial parent(s) have not earned or received a bachelor’s degree.
  3. College student with a documented disability in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 2009 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act 1973.  Students must have a documented disability that can be verified by the CVCC Student Accessibility Services.