Luther College Chips

TRIO opens its doors to campus

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Director of TRIO Achievement Program Tammy Hove (‘93) and TRIO members chat and eat during TRIO day celebration.

Director of TRIO Achievement Program Tammy Hove (‘93) and TRIO members chat and eat during TRIO day celebration.

Julia Curtis (‘17) | Chips

Julia Curtis (‘17) | Chips

Director of TRIO Achievement Program Tammy Hove (‘93) and TRIO members chat and eat during TRIO day celebration.

Julia Curtis, Staff Writer

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Luther College’s TRIO Achievement Program continues to help students transition from high school to college and offer support for first-generation and low-income college students in their newly renovated office space in the lower level of Preus Library.

Luther College’s TRIO program held an open house in their new location on Feb. 28. The event lasted from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and provided refreshments for students, faculty, and staff. The event was in part a celebration of the renovated office space and a celebration of National TRIO Day.

TRIO, previously called Student Support Services, moved from the Student Academic Support Services (SASC) office and changed its name to TRIO to differentiate itself from SASC and better support its members during the entirety of their college career.

“TRIO’s goal is to help students successfully transition into college and really thrive and benefit students the whole way through college,” Administrative Assistant Jennifer Folstad said.

As a nationally funded organization, TRIO began at Luther in 1973 to support first-generation and financially-disadvantaged students. Luther’s chapter receives funding for 160 students, but aids 180. Sixty-six percent of the students it serves are both first-generation and from low income families. Luther receives the federal funds through grants every five years. Director of TRIO Achievement Program Tammy Hove (’93) writes the grants and acts as the spokesperson for the organization.

“One of the great things besides articulating what you want to do over the next five years, [is that] we also have an opportunity to share what we’re already doing and some of the results that we’ve had,” Hove said.

TRIO selects incoming Luther students and asks them to apply for the program. If accepted, the program places students with one of the three advisers: Advisor and Instructor Cheryl Wieseler, Advisor and Tutoring Coordinator Chivonne Marlow, and Hove. TRIO advisors work in conjunction with the students’ faculty advisor.

Wieseler teaches three sections of a college transition class every fall for TRIO first-years. The class, Foundations of Learning and Development, lasts a full semester and introduces first years to each other and college life.

“[In the class] we talk about anything from the difference in studying from high school to college,” Wieseler said. “To talking to professors, to money and taking personal responsibility for things.”

TRIO and its advisors promote peer interactions with other TRIO students through the peer leadership program and the tutoring program. Marlow said that the difference between TRIO tutoring and SASC tutoring is the amount of time alotted to the tutors.

“One of the perks with TRIO is that students can have extra tutoring time,” Marlow said.  “With TRIO, we have some students who meet for an hour or an hour and a half per week and that extra tutoring time is a really nice benefit that we can provide.”

Julia Curtis (‘17) | Chips
Danielle Dunn (‘18), Jack Benson (‘18), and Makeda Barkley (‘17) drink out of a root beer keg at TRIO’s open house.

The organization hosts workshops that are open to all students and social events for TRIO students. It also provides school supplies and textbooks to Luther students.

“Right before finals we have extended hours, so if you need resources or someone to talk to, there will be someone in the office,” TRIO student worker Danielle Dunn (‘18) said. “We also have resources for students who are a part of TRIO like folders and notebooks and sticky notes and other academic supplies that you might need.”

One annual event is Financial Aid Jeopardy, a way for first-year TRIO students to learn about how to apply and receive financial aid in a fun way. Other activities include Soup’s On, which is a program hosted by TRIO and the Diversity Center, and the TRIO celebration banquet. The events help promote relationships between TRIO students and other Luther faculty and groups like the Diversity Center and the Career Center.

“Having the conjoined events is a nice way to get my foot in the door and introduce me to the people in that office, rather than just me going on my own into the Career Center or the Diversity Center,” TRIO member Sheila Lowery (‘18) said. “It’s a nice way to ease yourself into those situations.”

Jack Benson (‘18) felt that TRIO helped him grow and develop into a more capable individual.

“My freshman year compared to where I am now, I am entirely different,” Benson said. “The opportunities that TRIO has given me have really sped that process up and made me into a stronger individual than I was then. It’s been a huge resource not only for me, but for my other colleagues as well.”

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