On-campus program helps all with counseling, financial aid, tutoring and more

TRIO participants cooking spaghetti.

The University of Central Oklahoma TRIO program in the Max Chambers Library provides counseling, financial guidance, tutoring and many more services for students of all backgrounds.

“At TRIO, we do what we can to break down financial barriers and other barriers that prevent students from succeeding or getting into college,” DeShawn Watson, the Senior Director of TRIO Pre-College Programs said.

Student Support Services in room 315 of the library and the TRIO offices just below, in room 221 both help students with financial literacy training, mentoring, FAFSA completion and graduate school preparation.

TRIO has numerous programs– their main goal being to provide educational support services to students, including those with low-income backgrounds, first-generation students, students with disabilities and veterans.

President Lyndon B. Johnson launched federal TRIO programs as part of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 in an effort to fight poverty in the United States. 

In 1965, TRIO programs were implemented on campus at UCO for the first time and have continued being funded since. 

Watson experienced the benefits of TRIO at UCO as a student, long before he started working for the university, “We were doing a lot of activities on campus, like College 101, enrichment courses, cultural field trips and college visits.” 

Programs include: STRIVE, which serves students in all majors with course selection, financial aid, tutoring and graduate school preparation. The McNair Scholars program supports college sophomores, juniors and seniors in guiding them to graduate school. GEN STEM, a research-based program that helps students in STEM, Health Science and Forensic Science majors by assisting with research grants, industry tours and career exploration. The SALUTE program serves veterans of all majors, with assistance in transitioning from military to college life, including financial aid, tutoring and career exploration. 

TEACH assists those interested in Education through certification test preparation, career specific workshops, financial aid, tutoring and financial literacy training.

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