Office of Minority Student Affairs
National TRIO Week 2011
National TRIO Week is a direct result of the defeat of the 1986 Gramm-Rudman-Hollings bill, which put the federal TRIO programs in danger of being eliminated after more than 20 years of service to students.
Parents, students, alumni and TRIO personnel across the country rallied in a grassroots effort to defend the programs, which caught the attention of politicians. And soon after the bill was defeated, Congress established a resolution proclaiming February 28, 1986, as National TRIO Day. The TRIO community has since observed the occasion on the last Saturday of February each year, with National TRIO Week celebrated throughout the week leading up to TRIO Day.
TRIO derives its name from the group of federal college-focused educational programs initially created by the Educational Opportunity Act of 1965. The intent of the programs was to remove social and financial barriers and expand educational opportunities to students who otherwise might not be aware of, consider, experience, or have access to higher education.
TRIO Week sheds light on the programs and their value to students, and it reminds us of the 1986 battle that was waged and won to sustain them, a struggle that continues. The ultimate goal of each year's TRIO Week is to celebrate, educate, and make the TRIO name more widely known.
TRIO Week 2011 at Illinois
The Office of Minority Student Affairs sponsored the following events in celebration of National TRIO Week, February 20-26, 2011.
- Monday, Feb.
21 — TRIO Student Panel Discussion and Reception
4-6 p.m., Illini Union Pine Lounge, 1401 W. Green St., Urbana
- Tuesday, Feb.
22 —Research Symposium and Recognition Luncheon
11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Illini Union Ballroom, 1401 W. Green St., Urbana
* BY INVITATION ONLY *
- Wednesday, Feb. 23 — "Tribute to TRIO" Flash Mob
4 p.m., on the steps of the Student Services Building, 610 E. John St., Champaign
Check out the video!
- Thursday, Feb. 24 — "TRIO Gives Back" Community Service Project
This day is dedicated to community service in the name of the TRIO programs.
OMSA asked everyone to please consider volunteering on this day, and we encouraged participation in the food drive Monday through Friday of TRIO Week 2011 by delivering non-perishable food items to OMSA or OMSA East.
See also Locations, maps and hours.
- Friday, Feb. 25 — Open House at OMSA with light refreshments
1-3 p.m., Room 130 Student Services Building, 610 E. John St., Champaign
Frequently asked questions about TRIO
- What are the TRIO programs?
• Upward Bound, one of the original TRIO programs, aids high school students in developing the skills and motivation necessary for completion of a post-secondary degree. The services were later expanded and now include a program that assists U.S. veterans in earning a college degree and an additional program that focuses on students who intend to pursue degrees in math and science.
• Student Support Services helps college students persist and complete a four-year degree through the provision of academic support services such as individualized counseling and access to tutoring, cultural and financial literacy activities.
• Talent Search is an early intervention program for individuals aged 11 through 21, including those seeking to re-enter the education system, who are interested in pursuing a post-secondary degree.
• Educational Opportunity Centers provide assistance to individuals 21 and older who are interested in pursuing a post-secondary degree.
• The Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program provides undergraduates with research opportunities and other preparation experiences for graduate school application, admission and success. The primary goal of the program is to prepare and encourage scholars to obtain their doctorate degrees and become faculty, thereby diversifying the ranks of the American professoriate.
- Who receives assistance from TRIO programs?
As federal programs, TRIO serves students from all ethnic backgrounds, including veterans, disabled, first-generation and low-income students. The current ethnic breakdown of students benefitting from the TRIO programs across the country includes (according to the U.S. Department of Education): 37% white, 35% African American, 19% Latino/a, 4% Native American, 4% Asian, and 1% multiracial. More than 25,000 U.S. veterans and 22,000 students with disabilities are currently enrolled in TRIO programs.
- How many TRIO programs currently exist?
There are 2,875 programs across the country serving approximately 836,000 students, and the State of Illinois serves almost 33,000 of those students through 125 TRIO programs. The Office of Minority Student Affairs at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign serves more than 300 students annually through three TRIO programs — Ronald E. McNair Scholars (since 1990), Student Support Services (since 1971), and Upward Bound College Prep Academy (since 1966).
- What happens during TRIO Week?
National TRIO Week is a celebration among TRIO students, alumni, personnel and supporters, during which a variety of activities are held to illuminate the range of services and opportunities offered to TRIO students. Student performances and presentations, and information on the history of TRIO programs and National TRIO Day, are all a part of the celebration.
For more information about the federal TRIO programs, please visit the U.S. Department of Education website.
OMSA also has prepared a TRIO Week Frequently Asked Questions page for downloading (PDF).
If you have questions about TRIO, please send email to OMSA at omsa.illinois [at] gmail [dot] com.