Student Support Services


What is Student Support Services?

Student Support Services (SSS) is a federally funded program whose main goal is to retain and graduate qualifying students by providing academic advisement, personal support, and enrichment activities.

Who can apply?

SSS serves first-generation college students and/or low-income or disabled students who exhibit some type of academic need. This need may be for graduate school information, assistance with the financial aid process, or the request for academic services such as free tutoring.

What We Offer


  • Financial aid advice and assistance
  • Career exploration
  • Personality types and leadership development
  • Graduate school information
  • Professional speakers and experts


  • Lunch & learn
  • Fun activities
  • End-of-semester banquets


  • Cultural trips (broadway shows, museums, hiking, historical sites)
  • Overnight trips to visit graduate schools
  • Professional development conferences for student leadership

Financial Advice

As a student enrolled in SSS, you will have select, FREE access to an incredible online financial literacy program called LIT. LIT offers over 70 interactive videos, calculators, and helpful resources on a huge variety of money topics to help you get control of your finances and feel empowered to make good decisions! LIT will help you get your money mindset right and put smart systems in place so you can achieve even your wildest financial goals.


Mentoring Program: Pioneering Connections

The Pioneering Connections Peer Mentoring Program is designed to provide a connection for first-year, underrepresented students in their transition to the Tusculum’s community by providing support and resources to increase their success and engagement.

If you are interested in participating as a mentor or a protégé (mentee), please contact Steveland Anderson at



Student Support Services
P.O. Box 5053
Greeneville, TN 37743
Fax: (423)787-8494

Niswonger Commons, 412

Student Support Services Director
(423)636-7300 ext. 5206
Niswonger Commons, 417


SSS Associate Director & Counseling Liaison
(423)636-7300 ext. 5825
Niswonger Commons, 413

Student Support Services Administrative Assistant
(423)636-7300 ext. 5635
Niswonger Commons, 412


Multicultural Retention Specialist
(423)636-7300 ext. 5826
Niswonger Commons, 414


My education has meant the world to me. My parents always stated how proud they were of me even if they didn’t fully understand what I was going through. Their support, along with the support of my extended family and college family is what got me through. I strive to be that support for first-generation students each day.

Rhonda Gentry

I am proud to be a first-generation graduate because my Mom and Dad sacrificed to ensure that I was able to graduate from college. Their sacrifice and the sacrifice of my husband enabled me not only to obtain an undergraduate degree but to obtain both a master’s degree and a doctorate. As a result, I have been able to teach children with disabilities as well as train pre-and in-service teachers how to work with some of God’s most precious gifts.

Betsy Loveday

As a child, my life dreams and aspirations were to be an Astronaut or President of the United States. I believe that the more one knows about the world, the more one is able to do. So for me, getting a college education was a necessary means to pursue my personal happiness and success.

Troy Goodale
Chair of Social Sciences | Professor of Political Science

School was really hard, especially at a huge university.  My work took a little longer than others but I was determined.  Now my work ethic is solid and my purpose is to help others do the same.

Shay Riggs
Associate Director of ARCHES & Counseling Liaison

I think back to the encouragement that I received from my parents: “Education is important to your future. You have one life to live so dare to be different and choose the path that you will enjoy the most. Wherever you go, always remember your family”. This is also what my wife and I have instilled in our two sons.

Geir Bergvin
Associate Professor of Marketing

My sister and I were the first in our family to go to college. My undergraduate degree is from SUNY Geneseo. I am also the first in my family to complete my graduate degree AND I am the first TEACHER!

Stephanie Kirby
Education Field Experience Coordinator

I am a first-generation UTK grad with a BS in Music Education and an MS in Curriculum and Instruction. After teaching in Knox County for seven years, I came to Tusculum in 2008 and have worked as the Director of Clinical Experience for the College of Education since 2012.

Michelle Clupper
Education Field Experience Coordinator

Sometimes there tends to be some trial and error when you’re new at something.  As a first-generation college student that was definitely the case for me. But, I stuck with it, worked as hard as I could, and ultimately reached my goal of receiving my degree.

Drew Story
Academic Advisor

Being a first-generation student, I knew that college offered an untold amount of opportunities, but I could’ve never guessed the challenges that came with it. Without the support and encouragement of TRIO, I don’t think I could have completed my bachelor’s, let alone my master’s degree.

Jarred Cadwallader

I grew up in an underserved area of Kentucky, where very few students attended or graduated from college. However, my parents always pushed me to be the first in our family to go to college and graduate. I take great pride in being a first-generation college student, and it allows me to be able to relate to, and help TU’s first-generation college students. My goal is to help our students achieve and experience things they never dreamed were possible!

Dennis Ashford
Assistant Professor of Chemistry