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TRIO History

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TRIO Programs History

TRIO has a progressive history. Our nation has asserted a commitment to provide educational opportunity for all Americans regardless of ethnic background or economic circumstance. In support of this commitment, Congress established a series of programs to help students with first generation, economically disadvantaged, and disabled backgrounds enter college, graduate, and live a productive life.

The administration’s response to the “War on Poverty” produced the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, from which Upward Bound was created. Subsequently, the Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965 created the Talent Search Program, which is funded under Title IV. The HEA of 1968 produced the Student Support Services Program. By the late 1960’s, the term “TRIO” was coined to describe these federal programs.

Over the years the TRIO Programs have expanded to reach more diverse groups of students in need. The HEA of 1972 produced Educational Opportunity Centers and Veterans Upward Bound. In 1986 amendments to the HEA brought about the Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement Program. In 1990 the Department of Education created the Upward Bound Math and Science Program.

Nationally, Student Support Services students are more than twice as likely to remain in college as those from similar backgrounds who do not participate in such programs.

Currently, combined programs within the state of Oklahoma serve more than 27,000 students annually.

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