TRiO program gets $1.4M grant to help disadvantaged students

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“We want to retain our students once they’re here, give them the services and skills that they need to be successful college students and to hopefully graduate from UNK,” said TRiO Assistant Director Rashawn Harvey.

By AUSTIN KOELLER
UNK Communications

KEARNEY – A University of Nebraska at Kearney program that helps disadvantaged students meet their academic needs and complete undergraduate degrees has received funding for another five years.

The TRiO Student Support Services program received a Department of Education .4 million grant, which funds the UNK program through 2020 at an annual cost of 5,819.

The federal grant allows roughly 200 UNK students to be served by the TRiO program, which provides academic tutoring, personal counseling, mentoring, financial guidance, and other support for educational access and retention.

TRiO has been at UNK since 1993.

Assistant Director Rashawn Harvey refers to TRiO as a “retention and graduation” program.

“We want to retain our students once they’re here, give them the services and skills that they need to be successful college students and to hopefully graduate from UNK,” he said.

In order to be accepted into the TRiO program students must meet one of three criteria: be a first generation student, have a disability or meet financial income guidelines.

Once accepted into the program, students are required to take a University Foundations course during their first semester that teaches them how to be a successful college student, complete an academic plan and grade report each semester, meet with their assigned TRiO advisor and attend sponsored workshops and programs.

Program Director David Luker wants people to know the TRiO program works. “It’s the best kept secret out there in terms of having an insurance policy for being successful in college,” he said.

The .4 million grant, used to fund the TRiO program at UNK, was part of a very competitive process, Luker said. “There are about 1,000 of these grants across the country used to fund different programs. There are probably another 500 that didn’t get a grant out of this.”

Luker said the entire TRiO team was involved in writing and editing the 65-page grant proposal.

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Media: Todd Gottula, Director of Communications, 308.865.8454, gottulatm@unk.edu

Source: David Luker, program director TRiO, 308.865.8988, lukerdt@unk.edu

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