TRIO Student Support Service

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We envision a program that works with students to enhance their academic performance, increase retention and graduation rates, and help prepare them for careers after graduation. We seek to create a vital link between participating students and University resources.


The mission of the program is to encourage students to pursue academic excellence, persist in their collegiate studies and earn their degrees. SSS was designed to help first-generation students and students with limited financial resources. In particular, the program provides one-on-one assistance in the transition from high school to college and from the students' freshman year to graduation.


Services offered through SSS include:

  • A combination of academic tutoring
  • Individualized counseling
  • Financial literacy programs
  • Exposure to cultural and academic events and programs
  • A connection to mentoring opportunities
  • Assistance with career development
  • Help with
    • Course selection
    • Navigating financial aid awards
    • Finding scholarships
    • Applying to graduate or professional schools.


  • Victoria Zeter, Student Success Advisor
  • Dr. Betoel Escobar, Assistant Director
  • Vincent Cunningham, Associate Director
  • Domonic Cobb, Director, Office of Minority Student Affairs & TRIO Programs

SSS is one component of the federal initiative known as TRIO programs. The Student Support Service program is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education and through state and private funds. SSS has a solid record of success — the average graduation rate (more than 80 percent) for SSS students at Illinois is higher than the six-year average graduation rate for underrepresented student’s campus wide. (Source: DMI. See "Campus Totals.")

For more information, please contact TRIO Student Support Service at (217) 265-6496 or