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Most Significant Professional Accomplishments (4) Introducing New Federal Department of Education Grant Funding Neosho County Community College introduced me to the Federal Department of Education’s grant funding opportunities. While serving as a chief student services officer at the college it was my charge to assemble a grant writing team. Using consultants, our grant writing team was successful in obtaining all three TRIO grants: Educational Talent Search, Upward Bound and Student Support Services. These TIRO grants serve as outreach programs, designed to motivate and support students from disadvantaged backgrounds. While serving as the Dean of students for Neosho County, I was fortunate to observe the impact these grant programs had on students and their families. I also was able to attend training across the country, learning best practices and working with the nation’s best TRIO consultants. By 1999 I was selected to speak to the Kansas State Legislature’s Education Sub- Committee on the Federal Department of Education’s TRIO funding opportunities. Almost immediately after being hired at Feather River College I noticed that the service area (Plumas County) has a large percentage of families that qualify for such a grant. I soon began to assemble a team to write TRIO grants and gained permission to hire the grant consultants I had experience with at Neosho County. Feather River was awarded their first ever TRIO grant in 2000 and in a matter of less than four years secured all three TRIO grants. Securing this new funding from the Department of Education greatly improved the ability to serve and motivate area students and showed their families the importance of higher education. This grant funding also brought in millions of dollars to Feather River College’s budget. Later, the same consultants approached the college about attempting a grant application entitled, Strengthening Institutions. The Strengthening Institutions grant funds approximately 1.7 million dollars per institution, with the intent of improving defined weaknesses as defined through the application. Feather River College successfully applied and gained the new funding. The Superintendent appointed me as the grant coordinator overseeing the project. This new grant funded many exciting changes on campus, including an upgrade to the college’s information technology computer system. Through this grant FRC now has a computer system that integrates all college operations and allows students to enroll and view their grade reports online. I consider the success of Neosho County and Feather River Colleges’ grant applications as one of my significant accomplishments and am very proud of the services it has provided to students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Paul J. Thein, ED.S.
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