Celebration held in honor of free tutoring services

Jamie Anderson

Jamie Anderson

The National TRiO program’s charitable efforts will be celebrated once again by SDSU.

The event will be at the SDSU Student Union in the Lewis and Clark Room 262 on Feb. 26 at 2 p.m.

The TRiO programs are national outreach programs for high school or college students that are looking for educational opportunities that may not have thought were possible. The TRiO program provides tutoring to students to help them transition into college. It also helps give them college access, along with academic and social opportunities.

“I tutor all levels of Spanish. I think tutoring is a really great resource for students at SDSU, mainly because it is free,” said Catherine Grandorff, junior English and Spanish major. “We go through a lot of training, and it’s quality tutoring. It’s study time, but you have someone who knows what they are talking about to help you.”

TRiO is a federally funded program, and SDSU offers two specific TRiO programs to serve and support low-income, first-generation college students and students with disabilities. The student only has to meet one of the criteria to be able to participate in TRiO.

Upward Bound is directed towards current high school students looking to pursue post-secondary education. The SDSU Upward Bound program focuses on recruiting at five area schools. Students can start participating their freshman year if they meet the criteria. Students are normally recruited in the fall, and Upward Bound provides tutoring services right in their high school.

“It’s rewarding working with students who never saw college as a part of their future,” Upward Bound Director Carla Anderson said. “We can prepare them and give them college as a realistic opportunity after they participate in the program.”

Student Support Services is a transitional program for the first couple years of college. It helps some students that would like to take advantage of social and academic opportunities that colleges can provide. Some students participate in both of these if they feel the need.

TRiO services can also help students choose a college, apply and visit colleges, apply for financial aid, provide different levels of counseling and offer free tutors in many areas of study.

Upward Bound can serve 50 students and Student Support Services can serve 160 students at any one given time. Each of the programs has helped about 400 students since their respected starting dates.

Student Support Services was the first program funded Sept 1, 2001. The second TRiO program, Upward Bound, was funded Sept. 1, 2003.

“I love being involved in TRiO,” said Jeffrey Vostad, director of Student Support Services. “It’s a wonderful program. I’ve seen so many student successes with the program.”

TRiO Day has been more of a celebration at SDSU the past couple years. The event is open to anyone that wishes to attend, including TRiO students, faculty and other students looking to get involved in the program.

President David Chicoine and Vice President of Student Affairs Marysz Rames will begin the event with welcoming comments. The keynote speech will be given by Engineering Diversity Coordinator Mary Jo Lee. There will also be proclamations from the offices of Sen. John Thune, Sen. Tim Johnson and Rep. Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin.

Students who came from families with financial or social struggles were able to participate in TRiO starting in the 1960s when Congress instituted National TRiO Day. It is celebrated every year to recognize the services the program provides and to promote it, as well, said Vostad.

The event is sponsored by SDSU TRiO programs. TRiO offices are located in the Wintrode Student Center.

For more information, contact [email protected] or call the TRiO office at 605-688-6653.