TRIO’s mission is to help motivated students earn a college degree. TRIO employs early intervention and communication with students and outreach to faculty and staff to provide needed academic supports.
TRIO programs are funded through the U.S. Department of Education and are designed to provide services for individuals from underserved backgrounds. Target populations include low-income, first-generation college students, and students with disabilities.
- Ensuring students’ academic achievement leading to college graduation
- Supporting and valuing individual difference and excellence
- Expanding cultural and global awareness
- Advocating on behalf of students on issues relating to access and success
TRIO achieves its mission by
- Using a holistic approach to academic advising
- Providing resources to assist students to turn challenges into achievements
- Supporting pathways from undergraduate to graduate school enrollment
- Identifying networking and leadership opportunities for TRIO participants
Northeastern Illinois University received three TRIO SSS awards in 2010, TRIO Access (serving students with disabilities); TRIO Achieve (serving first-generation, low-income students from all academic majors); and TRIO Teacher Prep (serving first-generation, low-income students who plan to become teachers). Since inception, we have grown to capacity, serving 380 NEIU students.
Nationally, the three original TRIO programs included Upward Bound, which emerged out of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 in response to the Lyndon B. Johnson administration's War on Poverty; Educational Talent Search, which was created as part of the Higher Education Act of 1965; and Student Support Services, which was included in the Higher Education Amendments of 1968. The term "TRIO" was coined in the late 1960's to describe these three federally funded educational opportunity outreach programs.
Since the development of the three original TRIO programs, three additional programs have been added. Educational Opportunity Centers were authorized as part of the Higher Education Amendments of 1972; training programs for federal TRIO programs known as the Training Program for Special Programs Staff and Leadership Personnel were authorized as part of the Higher Education Amendments of 1976. The sixth program, the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement program, was part of the Amendments of 1986.
Over 790,000 low-income, first-generation students and students with disabilities — from sixth grade through college graduation—are served by over 2,800 programs nationally. TRIO programs provide academic tutoring, personal counseling, mentoring, financial guidance, and other supports necessary for educational access and retention.