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The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

TRIO Offers Support Services for First-Gen, Low-Income, and Disabied Students

A+graphic+displaying+some+of+the+TRIO+team%2C+who+help+students+enrolled+in+the+program+reach+their+academic+and+personal+goals.+%28Photo+courtesy+of+Marsha+Bond-Nelson%29

A graphic displaying some of the TRIO team, who help students enrolled in the program reach their academic and personal goals. (Photo courtesy of Marsha Bond-Nelson)

TRIO Student Support Services (SSS), is a program that aims to provide educational support to first-gen, limited-income, and disabled students who meet their eligibility requirements.
TRIO is located in MSR on the second floor in room 245. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The program offers several different services to students including academic advising, peer mentoring, tutoring, free printing, an exclusive study area, writing assistance, and workshops; they even have a scholarship available.
Once admitted, students are enrolled in the program until they graduate.
“We’re a program that helps our students graduate. We stick with them the four years and [help] get them their cap and gown,” said peer mentor Diana Velasco (Junior, Liberal Studies).
Building a relationship with students to help them succeed is only part of what TRIO does. Every student is assigned their own advisor, which makes their advising appointments significantly more personal and tailored to each student.
Advisors help students with personal and academic counseling, advising students on topics ranging from what classes to take to how to reach their personal goals.
Marsha Bond-Nelson, an Academic Advisor, finds that asking “What do you want to do?” helps her build a connection with her students because it enables her to guide them based on what their end goals are.
Advisors can help students pick out a major, career prep, grad school prep, and more.
“It’s okay to not know where you’re going, but at least have an idea to build on that foundation,” Bond-Nelson said.
Peer mentors are also a significant part of TRIO. These are currently enrolled students who work closely with other students throughout the year. They are able to provide students with more specific and relatable advice since they are currently students themselves.
“Sometimes it’s easier to ask a student than it is somebody else of more authority,” Velasco said.
Another notable service that TRIO provides its students with is a writing specialist. Writing appointments help students clarify any questions about their assignments and are 50 minutes long.
Students are able to book as many appointments as they feel necessary. Melissa Amarillas, a Writing Specialist, mentions that she does not limit her students to 50 minutes, and appointments can go over if necessary  if time permits.
Writing appointments are not limited to academic writing, but can also be for tasks such as building a resume or a cover letter.
“It offers a little bit more than going to the writing center for a fifteen-minute appointment,” Amarillas said.
Besides writing assistance, students are also able to book tutoring appointments. TRIO works in partnership with the Stan State Learning Commons. Students are able to book these appointments through StanTutor.
Students are also encouraged to take part in the workshops provided. These workshops range from how to build credit to how to enjoy a self-care day. They are offered free of charge and happen often, so checking the calendar of events might be beneficial if interested.
These workshops are made and put on by the peer mentors for students enrolled in TRIO.
They are meant to provide “extra information about things you don’t think of asking about or don’t know about,” said peer mentor Janelle Fuentes (Senior, Biology).
TRIO also hosts events to help students wind down from big stressors such as exams or to welcome in new students as well.
The services that TRIO provides differs from the ones provided by the university at large by building more of a personal connection with their students.
Velasco mentions that when students see their major advisors, they are set up with whoever is available, and that those advisors meet with various students so they have a difficult time building intimate connections.
Meanwhile, in TRIO, every student gets set up with one of the two advisors they have within the program, making it noticeably more personal.
Fuentes says that TRIO takes on fewer students, so they get to have more one-on-one experiences with their students.
“It’s more personal, I can remember what we talked about last,” he said.
The TRIO staff also noted that free study space is available for students enrolled in the program. The TRIO office equips students with desktops available to use, along with free printing, as well as access to any staff that is in the office.
TRIO also has a scholarship anyone within the program can apply for. There are some eligibility requirements, but chances are higher with this scholarship since there are only about 250 students in the program entirely.
All students who meet the eligibility for TRIO are highly encouraged to apply. There are several services and benefits that will be useful throughout and beyond their academic career.

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TRIO Offers Support Services for First-Gen, Low-Income, and Disabied Students