For millions of Americans from low-income families who have college potential but lack the wherewithal to go it alone, seven federally-funded programs called TRIO are making a world of difference. Students and graduates from the Colorado State University TRIO Programs will participate in a special event on campus Feb. 25 to show appreciation and support for the nation’s TRIO Programs and to recognize achievements made by several TRIO participants.
The celebration, which includes a short program and refreshments, is open to the community and will run from 2-4 p.m. in Ammons Hall. Fort Collins Mayor Ray Martinez will present a proclamation declaring recognition of National TRIO Day.
"Unlike student financial aid programs designed to help students overcome financial barriers to higher education, the TRIO Programs provide other valuable support services to help students from poor and working families successfully enter college and graduate," said Connie Jaime-Lujan, director for Colorado State’s Center for Educational Access and Outreach. "This event is being held because our students want more people to know about the services of the TRIO programs. Moreover, they want people to know that this federal program works and should be expanded to serve more Americans from low-income families."
The TRIO Programs that are housed at Colorado State boast significant accomplishments in increasing participants’ enrollment in college, increasing participants’ graduation rates and increasing participants’ enrollment in graduate school.
National TRIO Programs active at Colorado State include Talent Search, Upward Bound, Student Support Services, Educational Opportunity Centers and the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Program. Two national TRIO Programs not found at Colorado State are Upward Bound Math/Science and Veterans Upward Bound.
The Educational Talent Search housed at Colorado State provides services to 1,000 students in 25 Northern and Northeastern middle schools and high schools and in the Denver community of Montbello. The program focuses on helping students in grades six through 12 develop the skills and motivation needed to enter and succeed in high school and to enter a postsecondary education program upon high school graduation.
The program also assists students in completing the college admissions process and finding needed resources to finance college education. In 1999, 71.6 percent of graduating seniors participating in the program enrolled in a postsecondary education program upon graduation.
The Upward Bound program housed at Colorado State provides services to 85 students in nine Northern and Northeastern high schools and the Denver community of Montbello. The program focuses on helping students in grades ten through 12 develop the academic, social and leadership skills needed to succeed in high school and enter a postsecondary education program upon graduation. The program also assists students in completing the college admissions process and finding needed resources to finance college education. In 1999, 100 percent of seniors participating in the program were admitted to at least one postsecondary institution of their choice, and 96 percent of graduating seniors enrolled in a postsecondary education program by August 1999.
The Educational Opportunity Center housed at Colorado State provides services to 2,600 adults 19 and older in Adams, Weld and Larimer counties. Services include academic, career, financial aid and admissions counseling and focuses on preparing adults for re-entry into an educational-type program or entry into a postsecondary education program. During the 1998-99 program year, 74.4 percent of college-ready adults in the program enrolled in a postsecondary education program.
The Student Support Services/Academic Advancement Center housed at Colorado State provides services to more than 275 Colorado State University students. The program provides academic counseling, mentoring, tutoring and instruction, and helps students acquire good learning skills and strategies designed to help them become more successful in college. Of the participants in the program, 89 percent persisted at the university after two or more semesters.
The Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Program housed at Colorado State provides services to more than 20 students and focuses on preparing students who are underrepresented in graduate education for success in doctoral study in the sciences and engineering. Students who participate in this program are provided with research opportunities, faculty mentors, seminars on preparation for and application to graduate study, summer internships, GRE training and assistance with graduate applications and financial aid and other services. Ninety-six percent of participants have received their baccalaureate or are still enrolled and 41 percent of those who received their baccalaureate have enrolled in a graduate program, a rate which compares favorably to the national enrollment rate of 13 percent.
More than 1,200 colleges, universities and community agencies host about 2,000 TRIO Programs serving 780,000 young people and adults. Thirty-nine percent of TRIO students are Caucasian, 36 percent are African-American, 16 percent are Hispanic, 5 percent are Native American and 4 percent are Asian-American. Sixteen thousand TRIO students are disabled. Because of limited federal funding, these numbers reflect only 5 percent of the population eligible for such programs in the United States.