The federal government is issuing a new program that is providing aid to traditionally underrepresented groups of students to earn their bachelor's degrees. Florida International University is proud to be a host for the TRIO Program.
The Federal TRIO Programs (TRIO) are Federal outreach and student services programs designed to identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. TRIO includes eight programs targeted to serve and assist low-income individuals, first-generation college students, and individuals with disabilities to progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to postbaccalaureate programs. TRIO also includes a training program for directors and staff of TRIO projects.
First-generation alumna Natalia Sanchez ’22 enrolled at FIU four years agom planning on studying criminal justice. But in her first semester, she struggled in math and turned to Student Support Services (SSS) for assistance. SSS provided her a community where she was able to graduate with honors.
Sanchez graduated Cum Lade and began a master’s in higher education administration at FIU and is now a graduate assistant and mentor for a program she participated in as a student: the Golden Scholars program. Sanchez is proof that FIU is not wasting federal assistance on undeserving students as so many advocates of meritocracy fear.
FIU has hosted programs like TRIO since 1992. Housed on the second floor of the Student Academic Success Center, FIU’s TRIO programs are operated by the Office of Student Access & Success and are situated in a study space that encourages face-to-face interaction and camaraderie among students.
“Our mission is to support the retention and graduation of low-income and first-generation students, which together make up about half of the undergraduate population at FIU,” said Jeannette Cruz, senior director of Student Access & Success and supervisor of FIU's TRIO programs. “Beyond that, these programs are providing a space for students to form strong bonds with each other and begin building a professional network that will serve them throughout their careers.”