By Lucretia White/reporter
TCC provides resourceful academic support for first-time college students through the Federal TRIO Program. It is an umbrella program that covers nine sets of student services designed to ensure equal educational opportunity nationally.
TCC offers two of those: Upward Bound and Student Support Services.
“I’ve been here for six years, and I have seen students on academic probation or nearly about to drop out, but they were able to turn it around with the support of the program,” TRIO coordinator Chasity Alexander said.
Upward Bound provides academic support for high school students and support services program caters to the remaining students in need of support.
“With the Upward Bound program, we work with the high school students and the parents as a team while in the program,” coordinator of TRIO Upward Bound Mandy Hernandez said.
The Upward Bound program is given three grants for Upward Bound: one serves South Hills, one serves Everman and the other serves both Paschal and O.D Wyatt High Schools.
TRIO is located in SACA 1108 on South Campus, however students in the whole district can register to participate.
“The program is very beneficial,” TRIO academic adviser Zoi Tucker said. “It allows students to drop down barriers to discuss real-life situations that they might not feel comfortable with in a normal advisements sessions.”
The purpose of the TRIO program is to help students stay in high school and graduate with the goal of attending a four-year university. Tutoring, mentoring, computer usage, assistance with financial aid forms, academic advisement and college tours are a few of the services.
“We tutor first-time college students by meeting with them three times out of the week,” TRIO tutor Matthew Pedersen said. “Students gain skills and more confidence in order to succeed.”
Students who are homeless, in foster care or underrepresented in high school and college can improve their financial and economic situation by joining TRIO.
“TCC students don’t have the background of knowing what classes to take or how to complete financial aid.” TRIO coordinator John Trammell said. “TRIO helps students with that. In the future, if students transfer to a four-year university, they will know how to sign up for classes and who to talk to.”
There are special requirements for students to join: meeting with your adviser four times a semester, maintaining at least a 2.0 GPA and punctual attendance to classes. Students are expected to set goals as well as attend sponsored events.
“The TRIO program has helped me tremendously with improving my grades,” South student Tyeshun Bradford said.
Potentially, first-time college students or a student with both academic and economic struggles are eligible. Students who are enrolled at TCC with disabilities are also accepted to the TRIO program.
“Starting school, I had no idea what study skills were,” South student Mawatta Foeday said. “TRIO helped me pass math after one-on-one tutoring sessions.”