TRIO: Promoting Student Success through Strategic and Collaborative Partnerships

Written By: Kasey Harris

The NC State TRIO Programs, in conjunction with graduate students from the College of Education, have worked to develop and offer impactful programming activities for TRIO scholars. Courtney Simpson, Senior Director for Student Support Services, Student Support Services STEM, & McNair Scholars Programs with TRIO, explained the mutually beneficial partnership provides College of Education students the opportunity to gain first-hand experience working with diverse student groups, as well as the chance to plan and implement high-impact programming with feedback and support from professional staff members and students. In addition, she added, “the partnership has allowed TRIO staff to really focus on giving [TRIO] students the one-on-one support they need.”

Taking this innovative partnership a step further, Simpson and her team had the idea of a “One-Stop-Shop” for meeting TRIO students’ needs, and developed a proposal for a campus hosted conference for TRIO students to present their own work based on TRIO required services such as financial literacy, academic counseling, and graduate school preparation. College of Education graduate students were invited to present at the conference as well.

The conference provides TRIO students with not only a certificate and experience to put on their resume, but with peer mentorship, assistance, and support from students of the Higher Education Administration Program in developing their presentations. It also gives TRIO scholars a chance for feedback on their proposals and presentations from their peers and the TRIO professional staff. Simpson further noted, the opportunity “gives the masters students a chance to work with a diverse student population and really understand their background and why they came to NC State.”

Assistant Vice-Chancellor of Pathways, Marsha Pharr, Upward Bound Academic Coordinator, Maurice Mathis, Distinguished Alumni Graduate Professor Dr. Audrey Jaegar, doctoral student Jemilia Davis, and Simpson recently presented this strategic collaboration at the Council for Opportunity in Education’s (COE) 37th annual conference in New York. Their presentation focused on the need for collaboration amongst leaders across all education levels while working to “mutually address the challenge of programs to be strategic in required service delivery and cost-effectiveness.” Simpson further explained the conference model helps to provide “grade-level specific required services for precollege and collegiate TRIO students while providing leadership, mentoring, and engagement with graduate students.” During their COE conference session, participants were invited to develop their own strategic collaboration plan, encouraging them to inquire about potential partnerships on their own campus to further promote student success.

The TRIO Collegiate Fall Conference will be Saturday, October 20, 2018, from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM in the Talley Student Union and is open to all TRIO scholars to attend. The conference will focus on strategies and best practices which positively impact academic, personal and career success for students.

TRIO at NC State

TRIO Programs (TRIO) work to provide a continuum of educational opportunities for students beginning from sixth grade through graduate school enrollment. Talent Search, Upward Bound, Student Support Services, and the Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program are all TRIO Programs at NC State. These programs work to help students overcome the many class, social, and cultural barriers that are often associated with higher education. For more information on TRIO Programs or the TRIO Collegiate: Fall Conference, please contact TRIO-Programs@ncsu.edu.