TRIO Student Support Services
TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) is a college retention and graduation program, which helps students develop the academic skills and personal development necessary to successfully pursue and complete a college degree. We currently have two TRIO - SSS programs - "Classic" and "STEM" (for those in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math majors, including pre-health and Public Health Studies). Students accepted into TRIO Student Support Services will be a part of the program until they graduate from Portland State.
To qualify, students must be income eligible, first generation college students (neither parent has a bachelor’s degree) and/or have a documented disability. In addition, students must also demonstrate academic need. We only have limited spaces each academic year, so please turn in your completed application as soon as possible.
TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) staff will be working remotely until further notice. Students who are already in our program can contact their TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) adviser via email and/or schedule an appointment.
TRIO Student Support Services assists students to
- Strengthen academic skills necessary for college level course work through classes and workshops
- Connect with cultural and social enrichment activities to find a sense of community
- Improve and maintain the grade point average necessary to achieve academic goals
- Graduate with a Bachelor’s degree
TRIO Student Support Services can provide you the following services
- Academic and career advising
- Priority class registration for the following term
- Graduate and professional school counseling
- Financial Literacy such as loan forgiveness, financial aid application and managing personal budgets
- Access to our student lounge and quiet study areas
- FREE printing in our computer lab
- Laptop and calculator loaner programs
- Individual writing support
- For credit classes to students at no charge such as a college writing class and from transition programs of Summer Bridge (incoming freshmen) and Transfer Bridge (incoming transfer students)
- Scholarship resources and assistance
- Make appropriate referrals to campus and community resources
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.
The mission of TRIO programs is to expand educational opportunity to persons often underrepresented in higher education, increase the retention and graduation rates of eligible low income, first generation and disabled students and to foster an institutional climate supportive of the success for those students through comprehensive services and advocacy.
One of our Students of the Month:
My name is Seanna (she/her/hers), and I’m now a senior double majoring in social science and Black studies. I came to PSU as a freshman, my journey began with The TRiO summer bridge program in 2017. While learning how to navigate life as a first-generation college student I was also juggling between being a part-time worker and the eldest child of 5. My entire academic pursuit relied on the help I found within an education system or I was on my own. TRiO made sure I never felt alone during my entire undergraduate experience. And the connections I’ve made within the program have impacted my life immensely.
This past year I’ve worked as a peer mentor for Race and Social Justice within the University Studies Program alongside Professor Grace Dillon. Most of my academic work focuses on Black and brown children and other vulnerable members of society. After I graduate I have no steady plans since my interests and experiences vary. But if the option arises to further my education I will, if the time isn’t right I won’t rush it. But I know I will move on to some form of academic writing and/or informative writing. We will see!
More importantly I want to thank all of the TRiO staff for always being there and helping close the gap between us and our education. Special thanks to Andrea Griggs, my college journey has been nothing my difficult and complicated and shes stayed by my side helping with anything I needed.
One of our Students of the Month:
Suzie Aguirre De Boque
I am currently a senior and will graduate this Spring with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Japanese, a minor in Applied Linguistics, and a TEFL certificate. I would not have come this far in my journey towards graduation without the support of my family, close friends, and TRIO Student Support Services. My journey with TRIO started in my senior year of high school when I began submitting my college applications. As a first-generation student who had no guidance when it came to choosing which college to attend and what to do once accepted, TRIO SSS made a great impact on my life by providing the resources needed to have a positive and successful college experience.
The Summer Bridge class was a great experience for me because I learned about the PSU campus and community before starting my first classes in the fall which ultimately helped lower my anxiety towards starting my college journey. I was able to make meaningful connections with other students who were in the same position as me so it made the transition into college easier and less intimidating.
I cannot express how grateful I am for my advisor, Andrea Griggs, and all the exchanges we’ve had together. Having an advisor I could confidently seek guidance from and chat about things outside of regular academics made my college experience all the more enjoyable and fulfilling. Every month I looked forward to checking in with Andrea to catch up on life and work out my plans for the next term.
Another aspect of TRIO that made my college experience go smoothly was the opportunity to register for classes early. Since classes tend to fill up quickly and registration opens at different times depending on your class standing, I was able to confidently register for classes without worrying about classes filling up before I could register. Having this opportunity helped me stay on track when it came to fulfilling my degree requirements and eased my stress while managing school and work.
After graduation, I plan to participate in the Japanese Exchange and Teaching Program as an assistant language teacher in Japan. I find the cooperative nature of language and culture exchange inspiring and have always aspired to pursue a career path that involved different aspects of intercultural communication. Through my coursework, I became involved with extracurricular activities in the Japanese department at PSU and was exposed to various opportunities where I could make meaningful connections with individuals from Japan and learn more about Japan itself.
I hope to pursue a master’s degree in International Education Management. With graduation a few months away, I feel grateful for all the support and opportunities TRIO has provided me to have a positive and fulfilling college experience. I will use all the skills and information I have learned through my time in this program and at PSU in my future plans.