The Federal TRIO Programs (TRIO) are Federal outreach and student services programs designed to provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds.
TRIO includes eight programs targeted to serve and assist low-income individuals, first-generation college students, and individuals with disabilities to progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to post baccalaureate programs. TRIO also includes a training program for directors and staff of TRIO projects.
History of TRIO Programs
The TRIO programs were the first national college access and retention programs to address the serious social and cultural barriers to education in America. TRIO began as part of President Lyndon B. Johnson's War on Poverty. The Educational Opportunity Act of 1964 established an experimental program known as Upward Bound. Then, in 1965, the Higher Education Act created Talent Search. Finally, another program, Special Services for Disadvantaged Students (later known as Student Support Services), was launched in 1968. Together, this “trio” of federally-funded programs encouraged access to higher education for low-income students.
By 1998, the TRIO programs had become a vital pipeline to opportunity, serving traditional students, displaced workers, and veterans. The original three programs have grown to nine, adding Educational Opportunity Centers and Veterans Upward Bound in 1972, Training Program for Federal TRIO programs in 1976, the Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement Program in 1986, Upward Bound Math/Science in 1990, and the TRIO Dissemination Partnership in 1998.
Who Is Served?
As mandated by Congress, two-thirds of the students served must come from families with incomes at 150% or less of the federal poverty level and in which neither parent graduated from college. More than 2,800 TRIO projects currently serve close to 790,000 low-income Americans.
Many programs serve students in grades six through 12. Thirty-five percent of TRIO students are Whites, 35% are African-Americans, 19% are Hispanics, 4% are Native Americans, 3% are Asian-Americans, and 4% are listed as "Other," including multiracial students. More than 7,000 students with disabilities and approximately 6,000 U.S. veterans are currently enrolled in the TRIO programs as well.
Currently, Claflin has three of the TRIO programs: Student Support Services (1970) which serves college students and two outreach programs--Upward Bound (1965) and Upward Bound Math and Science (1990).
TRIO Programs Professional Affiliations
The Claflin University Upward Bound Program serves students in Orangeburg and Calhoun counties. Consequently, our staff must maintain cooperative relationships with the guidance counselors and principals at each of the high schools in the target area. In addition, the staff participates in national, regional, and state TRIO organizations.