February 20, 2012



K-State celebrates National TRIO Day

By Brandon Clark

Students and graduates from the K-State TRIO programs will participate in National TRIO Day on Wednesday as a way to show appreciation to the community for its support of the TRIO programs.

Starting at 11 a.m. in the food court area of the K-State Student Union, the K-State community will be welcomed to stop by several TRIO tables and gain more information on the programs and the services offered. For millions of students from low-income families who strive to be the first in their families to attend and graduate from college, seven federally funded programs called TRIO are making a world of difference.

Unlike student financial aid programs which help students overcome financial barriers to higher education, the K-State TRIO programs – Upward Bound, Upward Bound Math/Science, Educational Supportive Services and the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program – have been providing valuable supportive services to students from poor and working families to help them successfully enter college and graduate for over 40 years.

Elverta Vassol, director of the K-State Upward Bound and Upward Bound Math and Science Programs, has worked for TRIO programs for many years and knows the positive impact the programs can have.

“Programs like Upward Bound and the McNair Scholars Program play an important role in assisting first generation and low-income students who have a desire to further their education,” Vassol said.

Today more than 1,200 colleges, universities, and community agencies host more than 2,900 TRIO projects that serve approximately 850,000 young people and adults. Thirty-five percent of TRIO students are white, 35 percent are African-American, 19 percent are Hispanic, 4 percent are American Indian, 3 percent are Asian-American and 4 percent are listed as “other,” including multiracial students. Seven thousand TRIO students have disabilities.

TRIO services include: assistance in choosing a college; tutoring; personal and financial counseling; career counseling; assistance in applying to college; workplace and college visits; special instruction in reading, writing, study skills, and mathematics; assistance in applying for financial aid; and academic support in high school or assistance to re-enter high school.

Kathleen Greene, director of Educational Development Programs, said, “We want more people at K-State to know about the services of the TRIO programs. We also want people to know that this program works and should be expanded to serve more students from low-income families across Kansas.”