Funded by a $641,368 annual grant from the U.S. Department of Education, MU’s TRiO Program serves 670 targeted, degree-seeking undergraduates each year. Designed to help eligible students achieve academic success, MU’s TRiO Program offers a wide range of services in six main categories: academic, financial, social, professional/career, leadership development and cultural competency. These services are designed to help students make a successful transition from high school to college, form bonds with the campus community, and improve their academic performance and prospects for graduation and beyond.
The history of TRIO is progressive. It began with Upward Bound, which emerged out of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 in response to the administration’s War on Poverty. In 1965, Talent Search, the second outreach program, was created as part of the Higher Education Act. In 1968, Student Support Services, which is our current TRiO grant program, was authorized by the Higher Education Amendments and became the third in a series of educational opportunity programs. By the late 1960’s, the term “TRIO” was coined to describe these federal programs. However, the TRiO program continued to expand to other services in Higher Education Act amendments. The TRiO Student Support Services Program is one of two TRiO programs on campus, the other being the McNair Scholars Program. The TRiO program has existed on the University of Missouri campus since 1976, and continues to be a strong support to hundreds of undergraduates each year.
The TRiO program is actively and collaboratively expanding services to better support a population that is constantly changing. As the TRiO program moves forward, students will take a more active role in leading the office forward with timely and relevant programming. The TRiO program is also moving to be a stronger advocate for meeting the needs of students who are currently in, or have aged out of the foster care program, as well as students who have or are currently experiencing challenges meeting basic housing and food needs.