Monday, September 16, 2013

What Is Trio?-Share!

What do you say when someone asks you: "Trio? What's that?"

Most people have never heard of TRIO Programs, and if they have, it's usually through others.

Briefly, TRIO's mission is to assist first-generation students (neither parent completed a 4 year degree) to prepare for college, and then achieve a degree successfully through personalized advising and other enriching educational experiences. Because it is federally funded with tax money, there is no additional fee to participate in TRIO.

Did you know that....

TRIO originated in 1964 during Lyndon Johnson's presidency. The program originally included three parts, hence the name TRIO.

For a history, go to:

Over the years, TRIO Programs developed a total of 8 parts altogether. The name 'TRIO' was never changed to reflect it and the letters do not stand for anything.

These programs include:

          * Upward Bound -   for high school students. Advisors go to high schools  and provide advising and tutoring twice a week after school, plus Saturday sessions.
                                                                     Upward Bound Students

        * Upward Bound Talent Search - for middle school students to guide them towards college  (the name does not mean it is for acting or singing or other arts, necessarily)

           * Student Support Services - for college students, based at their college, providing individualized advising, assistance choosing a major, campus visits to 4 year transfer colleges and transfer course planning, financial aid navigation, and workshops for further assistance in specific areas.
                                                               SSS Students
 * McNair Scholarship - for graduate students - named for astronaut Ronald McNair for his high level of achievement (learn more here:

           * Upward Bound (Math/Science) - this program has a concentration on math and science

          * Upward Bound (Veterans)  - for military veterans to help them succeed in college

                                                                  Not Trio Programs

                                                                  Not Trio Programs

                                                                Not Trio Programs
  • Students in Upward Bound and SSS are good students striving to be better students, those who have solid goals and potential for being successful. Without these qualities, a student would not be accepted into the program. 

  • Some people think that Upward Bound is only for minorities. That is not true.

  • Upward Bound students meet with their advisors and tutors after school twice a week, plus one or more Saturdays each month. Advising includes ACT prep, financial aid education, cultural and life lesson experiences, college campus visits, assistance with the FAFSA, and other educational activities. Students also attend a summer program on the college campus. During the summer program, Upward Bound is required to offer: Math, Science, English, and a foreign language. There is usually an end-of-summer trip to let students experience a new place.

  • Upward Bound advisors have their offices at the college that 'sponsors' their program, not at their high schools. They are in their offices most days until it's time for them to travel to their high schools to have tutoring and advising sessions.
  • There is no age limit for students to take part in Student Support Services while they are in college. As long as you are someone motivated to be successful, and need some extra help to reach your goals, and meet one of our qualifiers, you can participate.

  • Here are the qualifiers for Student Support Services: First generation (neither parent achieved a Bachelors Degree); Modest Income; and for SSS, a Physical or Learning Disability/documented. Note that while a disability is one qualifier, our advisors are not trained in dealing with any disabilities. We will work with other resources that may be helpful in regards to students with a disability.

  • We do not provide money for students to attend college (such as scholarships). Occasionally, our Student Support Services program is able to offer a tuition-free, for-credit class. The greatest value of the program lies in the one-on-one, personalized advising we offer---for free---to our students.

  • TRIO programs are funded with grants from the United States Department of Education. This means each program has to 'ask permission to get the grant again' on a four or five year cycle.

  • Many TRIO advisors were also first-generation students and understand well the hard work involved to achieve college completion.

  • Because our funding comes from the Federal Government, we are not allowed to advertise in any way.

  • When the Federal Government prepares its budget, as part of the Department of Education, we frequently experience budget cuts. If the Dept of Ed budget is cut by 10%, for instance, our programs are all cut by 10%. However, we are still expected to meet the goals of our grants, only with 10% less money.

  •  If a program is not performing to the goals set by its grant, it will be de-funded. A prime example: Funding for the University of Minnesota's TRIO program was cut when they did not meet their goals.

  • We are not allowed to use work time or work funds to contact our senators and congressmen for support.

  • Since its beginning, more than 2 million students have participated in TRIO programs nationwide.

Achieving a college degree is a great thing, and most people don't become famous. However, TRIO Programs have served the occasional celebrity:

Actress Angela Bassett
Music Producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis      
ABC Journalist John Quinones
Astronaut Bernard Harris

What can you do to be sure that TRIO services continue to be available for you and for others who come after you?

We saw potential in you and felt you would benefit from the one-on-one advising and other services we offer. Be sure you are fulfilling your part by being a true participant:

-Students in Upward Bound: Keep your commitment to attend tutoring and Saturday sessions.
-Students in SSS: Make appointments and keep them.
-When you have an appointment, your advisor has set aside time for you, and has reviewed your file to be ready. If you cannot make the appointment, give us a call and let us know.
-Make more than your minimum appointments, in order to stay connected.
-Let your advisor know how things are going. Don't wait until you are in a crisis.
-Ask your advisor college-related questions. If you ask a friend, you may get the wrong answer.
-Speak with instructors when you have a class-related question.
-Tell others about the program.
-Remember that we truly want to see you succeed.

                We are your biggest cheerleaders. It's What We Do.

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