There is a student resource deep in the catacombs of UVU, also known as the Language Arts building basement that many students aren’t aware of: TRIO Student Support Services. TRIO SSS is funded by the federal government, and some of the benefits include academic counseling and the potential for scholarships. One of the biggest perks of this program is that it offers personalized, one-on-one tutoring in practically any subject for all eligible students.
Keith Jensen, program director TRIO SSS has been a part of the program since it was established at UVU in 1997. Jensen explained that, in order to be eligible for the program’s services, a student must be a U.S citizen or permanent resident, and they need to be either a first generation student, a low income student or a student with disabilities.
“The main mission of TRIO SSS is to assist and encourage TRIO SSS participants so they remain in college and graduate,” Jensen said. “A secondary mission is to foster a diversity environment that is understanding and supportive of the success of all TRIO SSS eligible students.”
Maggie Tobar, senior community health major and TRIO SSS student, explained the importance the program has had in her life and in helping her to reach her goal of graduating with a bachelor’s degree.
“If I hadn’t come to TRIO and received the type of tutoring I received, which was so detailed and tailored to my personal needs, I wouldn’t have been able to succeed and graduate so fast. Now, I’m going to graduate in three years instead of four.” Tobar said.
Nancy Cannon, TRIO SSS’s academic counselor and tutor supervisor, explained that the program is currently only able to serve about 150 students at a time. However, with so many students coming, going and graduating, that number is always changing, and students shouldn’t be afraid to apply. Cannon also emphasized how the program was more than just a place for students to receive academic tutoring.
“A student should apply to TRIO to gain not only academic support through tutoring, [but also] priority registration, computer lab and mentors. We give students the social and cultural support that so many students need to create a sense of wholeness,” Cannon said. “We are here to educate the whole person and not just part of a person. We also focus on emotional, mental and physical health and well-being.”