December 15, 2015

Mussington joins College as TRiO Program Director

Savannah Mussington has joined Kishwaukee College as the Director of the College’s TRiO Program/Student Support Services.  She assumed her position on November 2.

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

Mussington is an alumnus of the TRiO/Student Support Services program at Sauk Valley Community College. The Sterling native is currently working on her dissertation to complete her Ed.D. in Higher Education from Benedictine University in Lisle. She holds an M.A. in Psychology from University of the Rockies in Colorado Springs, CO and a B.A. in Psychology from Ashford University in Clinton, IA. She, her husband and their family reside in Sterling.

Prior to her current position at Kishwaukee College, Mussington worked at Ashford University as an Academic Advisor, Adult Accelerated Admissions Counselor, and New Student Specialist. She most recently served as the Assistant Director of Student Success at Ashford.

She cites the Student Support Services Program at Sauk Valley as providing her with the foundation for her academic success. “I am passionate about Student Support Services,” she explained. “It changed the path not only for me, but for my children. They are reaping the benefits of what I have achieved as a result of my educational success.”

Her dissertation is focused on what is known as “grit” in academia: the quality that enables a student to persist even when the going gets tough. “This is not a sprint, but a journey and grit is a personal attribute that can help a student succeed,” she explained. “I can give testimony to the power of grit just in my own story that I hope will encourage the students whom I work with. There are times when you just dig in your heels. I want to help students learn to develop the grit they need to succeed.”

She is excited to be part of the Kishwaukee College TRiO/SSS Program and, as the new program’s first director, has the enviable task of building from the ground up. She said, “When I read over the grant application that the staff at Kish had written, I honestly felt like I had written it myself because it mirrors my own thoughts on SSS.  It has vision and passion and innovation. It is very exciting!”

Kishwaukee College will accept 140 students in the program, which will begin in Spring 2016. Applications for the program are currently being accepted.

For more information about the TRiO/Student Support Services Program at Kishwaukee College, contact Savannah Mussington at 815-825-2086, ext. 5180 or at savannah.mussington@kishwaukeecollege.edu.