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TRiO Student Support Services

What is TRiO?

Our nation has asserted a commitment to providing educational opportunity for all Americans regardless of race, and ethnic background or economic circumstance. In support of this commitment, Congress established a series of programs to help low-income Americans enter college, graduate and move on to participate more fully in America's economic and social life. These programs are funded under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and are referred to as the TRiO Programs (initially just 3 programs). While student financial aid programs help students overcome financial barriers to higher education, TRiO programs help students overcome class, social and cultural barriers to higher education.

Student of the Month - Kimberly Gottschalk

Hi, my name is Kimberly Gottschalk & I am currently a senior at PSU. Ten years ago when I first graduated high school, I attempted to navigate college on my own and after a short time, ended up leaving school because of lack of funds to keep attending. I didn’t believe I would ever be able to obtain my bachelor’s degree and that I had missed my opportunity for higher education. I was worried that I would be destined to work low paying jobs in areas that did not stimulate any of my interests or quest for further knowledge. Two years ago I decided to give higher education another try and began taking classes at Portland Community College. Within a year, I was co-enrolled with Portland State University. I knew that I would need help to ensure that this time around I would be successful in completing a higher degree. After a quick online search, I found the TRIO Student Support Services program that helped first generation, low income students, like me, to aim high and successfully complete a bachelor’s degree in their chosen fields. I have been with the program for one year now and the support they have provided me through one on one advising in academic support, and all aspects of university life have been absolutely invaluable. With the help of my advisor, Andrea Griggs, and the TRIO Student Support Services team of advisors, I am on track to successfully complete my Bachelors of Science degree(s) in Environmental Science and Biology. I do not plan to stop there. Their help also gave me the chance to be chosen as a McNair Scholar for the 2014-2015 academic year. Being chosen as a McNair scholar was my stepping stone to be able to gain the experience to conduct research as an undergraduate. Within the next year, I will be applying to doctorate programs around the country to obtain my PhD in Physical Oceanography. The TRIO Student Support Services program has helped me in picking out the classes I need, applying for scholarships, writing support for personal statements, being accepted into the Honor’s College, revising my financial aid package, personal counseling, workshops on affordable healthcare and food, tuition remission, and being confident that I deserve and can complete my goals in higher education, among so much more. I have friendly faces in the university that I can come to with questions that are here to help me achieve success. The program has been such a blessing, and I am thankful for the continued support by the United States Department of Education to fund programs that help students like me reach our full potential. Thank you.