UW-Parkside Earns TRIO Grant
The UW-Parkside Student Support Services TRIO Program received a grant from the U.S. Department of Education that could total $1.5 million over the next five years.
UW-Parkside Student Support Services Director Dr. Chris Zanowski said TRIO programs must compete every five years for refunding. "Earning these grants, especially at a time when federal budgets are tight, is a highly competitive process" Zanowski said. "UW-Parkside's Student Support Services TRIO program received one of only 906 new awards that were granted from a pool of 1,700 applications."
Student Support Services programs address the needs of first-generation college students from low-income families and students with documented disabilities. A student must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident to be eligible for the program.
Through grant competition, funds are awarded to institutions of higher education based plans to provide opportunities for academic development, assisting students with basic college requirements, and motivating low-income, first-generation students toward the successful completion of their postsecondary education.
Zanowski described high-impact practices at the foundation of the UW-Parkside plan:
- a summer bridge program and first-year college success seminar;
- proactive advising, peer success and career coaches, and building connections to faculty mentors and undergraduate research;
- structured, first-year learning community experiences focused on building strong foundations in writing and computational skills including extended class time with instructors;
- a career-planning and practicum course, and help for students to connect with internships and study-abroad experiences;
- year-to-year student cohort seminar meetings to go over transitioning topics, further engagement, and building on team synergy;
- exposure to cultural events and academic programs not usually available to underrepresented students including connections to community-based learning and leadership programs;
- education designed to improve students' financial and economic literacy and assistance in completing financial aid applications for federal and state aid;
- activities designed to assist participants in applying for admission to, and obtaining financial assistance for enrollment in graduate and professional programs; and
- professional development for Student Support Services TRIO staff.
"Because of Student Support Services, I am able to walk with a more positive mindset, knowing I will be able to complete my degree," said Tyree Lanier, a second-year student in the UW-Parkside TRIO Student Support Services program.
The federal TRIO programs (TRIO) are federal outreach and student services programs designed to identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. The recipients of the grants, depending on the specific program, are institutions of higher education, public and private agencies and organizations including community-based organizations with experience in serving disadvantaged youth and secondary schools.