October 18, 2017

Tashena Briggs has joined Kishwaukee College as the Director of the College’s TRiO Upward Bound Program. She assumed her duties September 6.

Briggs holds a B.A. in Broadcast Communication from Western Illinois University; an M.S.Ed. in Adult Higher Education from Northern Illinois University; and is currently pursuing her Ed.D. In Community College Leadership at NIU. She comes to Kish from Northern Illinois University where she was the Complex Coordinator for Neptune/Gilbert Residence Halls. Previous to her position at NIU, she served as the Area Coordinator in Residential Life at the University of Southern Indiana at Evansville.

She and her husband Aaron and their two-year old son, Harper, have lived in DeKalb for three years. She serves on the DeKalb Library Board.

Briggs brings first-hand knowledge of the impact the TRIO Upward Bound program can have on a student’s future. She was a member of the Upward Bound Program offered through her high school in her native Markham, IL. “I grew up in a single parent household and I knew I wanted to go to college but I really didn’t know what that even looked like. Being part of Upward Bound exposed me to many experiences and opportunities I would not have had access to,” she explained. “One of our field trips was to Western Illinois University and I loved it. I filled out an application and was admitted on the spot.”

Kishwaukee received the federal TRiO Upward Bound grant earlier this summer and will be partnering with DeKalb High School to offer the program. The grant, awarded by the U.S. Department of Education, will provide funding to assist 60 DHS students to become college-ready each year. The grant is for five-years.

Activities and services offered to participating DHS students through TRiO Upward Bound will include academic advising, tutoring, college/career planning, financial literacy, cultural enrichment, leadership development, mentoring and wellness services. There will also be academic instruction opportunities in mathematics, laboratory sciences, composition, literature, and foreign languages to provide a solid academic foundation, as well as a Summer Component with instruction in the core curriculum.

Briggs is looking forward to working closely with students from DHS and offering them all the positive experiences in preparing for college that are available through an Upward Bound Program. “I am passionate about diversity and giving students opportunities,” she said. “I am looking forward to being involved in a very hands-on way with directing the student experiences in our program.”

Briggs is in the process of completing her Kishwaukee College TRiO Upward Bound team with the addition of a Case Manager and Administrative Assistant. The program will begin accepting applications from DHS students and the program will be in full-swing beginning in January 2018.

For more information on Kishwaukee College TRiO Upward Bound, contact Tashena Briggs at or at 815-825-9437.

Categories: TRiO SSS
April 26, 2017

Kim Green loves her job because she never knows what each day will bring. Kim is the Academic Coordinator with the TRiO Student Support Services (SSS) Program at Kishwaukee College. “I honestly enjoy my job,” she said. “It is never monotonous!”

As the Academic Coordinator with the TRiO SSS program, Kim works closely with students enrolled in the program. In addition to Kim, the program also is home to Director Keith Wise and Administrative Assistant Cindy Karasewski. The three work with 140 students who are selected to participate from an applicant pool each semester.

TRiO Student Support Services is a federally funded program that provides additional academic and personal support to college students who meet one of the three eligibility criteria: first-generation college student; low-income student; or a student with a learning or physical disability evidencing academic need. Kishwaukee College was awarded its first TRiO Student Support Services grant in September 2015. The grant is in effect for five years.

It provides extra support for students like Alex McAnly. After graduating from DeKalb High School in 2016, Alex decided to attend Kish. “I chose Kish because they had small class sizes at lower prices than most schools around,” he explained. He met Kim Green during orientation that summer and decided to investigate the TRiO SSS program after hearing her presentation. When he learned about the additional support he would receive, he applied to the program and was accepted.

He meets regularly with Kim and receives one-on-one guidance that has made an impact on his college experience. He explained, “Kim has advised me rather extensively. So far, I have received tips on how to be a successful student at Kish. We talk about everything from course advising to scholarships. And she sends me important reminders by text. Working with Kim in TRiO has really impacted my success as a student at Kish.” 

Kim noted that by meeting with the same students over the year, she really gets to know them and they get to know her. “It is nice to see students return to my office really wanting to see me,” she stated. “I know that they have connected with me and that I have helped them. They appreciate the support and like that they have someone in their corner to help them be successful.”

Built in to the program are trips to provide new cultural experiences, as well as four-year college campus visits for students – like Alex – who plan to transfer to complete a bachelor’s degree. “I want to go into Environmental Engineering,” he said. “I considered a few schools, but after I visited Northern Illinois University with TRiO, I know I want to go there after I graduate from Kish.”

Alex credits feeling comfortable on campus and his success to one particular person. “I think that Kim is a terrific person to work with, and she does her utmost to assure my success,” he said. “And I am so glad I chose Kishwaukee because Kish is just great!”

It is seeing students like Alex be successful and thrive in college that keep Kim Green smiling when she gets to her office every day. “I may not know what my day will hold when I get to campus,” she said. “But I know it will be rewarding.” 

For more information on the TRiO Student Success Services Program at Kishwaukee College, contact 815-825-9304 or visit

Pictured is Alex and Kim outside the TRiO office on campus.

Categories: TRiO SSS