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The Lookout | April 12, 2021

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TRiO helps students reach goals

TRiO helps students reach goals

Shelby Schueller
Staff Writer

For many students, college can be challenging, stressful and difficult to complete. LCC’s TRiO program can help.

The goal of LCC’s TRiO program, located in room 142 of the Gannon Building, is to help students make their academic dreams into a reality.

TRiO is a national, federally funded program that offers free academic support to eligible students, according to Danya Thomsen-Orellana, education specialist at TRiO.

“On average our students have a higher average GPA than the general LCC student population, and we all meet or exceed our graduation and transfer goals,” she said.

Eligible students for the program include first-generation students. This means that neither of the student’s parents/legal guardians graduated with a bachelor’s degree.

TRiO students may also be those with disabilities, or from low-income homes. Returning students are also eligible if they fall under these criteria.

When the program began in the 1970s there were three different types of support services, which is how the program got its name. Since then, the program has grown to eight divisions, each specializing in different types of students such as veterans, as well as math and science students.

LCC’s TRiO program focuses on student support services, and offers many resources to students. TRiO offers free tutoring in almost every subject with a TRiO staff tutor, academic advising and emotional support.

 TRiO advisers work with students to create an educational development plan customized to the needs of each individual. This plan is an overview of which classes to take to prepare for transferring to another college or graduation.

Several times throughout each semester, the program provides a series of field trip-like outings called “Cultural Events.” Cultural Events involve traveling to places like museums and art galleries, as well as local cultural and historical sites.

The trips are meant for students to experience new ideas and events they might not have been able to experience before, according to Thomsen-Orellana. TRiO students also have the opportunity to attend leadership workshops, seminars, graduation and transfer workshops. There are also visits to four-year universities.

While TRiO is a free program, it can only provide for 200 students maximum per year. Applications are accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis, so students are encouraged to apply early.

Students who do not apply on time may be put on a waitlist for the next semester, according to the LCC TRiO webpage.

For Bethany Johnson, a two-year TRiO student, the program offers more than just academic help.

“(TRiO) is awesome. It’s like a second family for me,” Johnson said.

“It’s a plethora of information and when you don’t have parents to groom you … the TRiO program helps you along the process. When you’re a first-generation student, you’re not always sure what to do and they really help you out.”

The TRiO office is open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and closes at 4 p.m. on Friday. For more information, visit the page at To contact TRiO, call 517-483-1161 or send an email to