By Tim Leeds
Montana State University-Northern held an open house yesterday at the Student Affairs Office in Cowan Hall to celebrate National TRIO Week.
The TRIO program was originally designed to help first-generation college students successfully receive a higher education degree. The program was named because it consisted of three programs, Arlene Hannawalt, the program's director of student loan programs and Gear Up Grant in Helena said.
The program currently consists of seven federally funded programs to aid college students. More than 1,200 colleges, universities and community agencies host approximately 2,000 TRIO Programs serving 780,000 young people and adults.
Linda Ornowski is the acting director of the Educational Opportunity Center at MSU-Northern. Ornowski, who splits her time between Havre and the college in Kalispell, is filling in until the permanent director, Eleanor Martin, begins April 1.
Ornowski said the celebration of TRIO this and next week is going on around the nation. She said National TRIO Day is Feb. 26, but since this is a Saturday, schools are spreading the celebration over the week before and the week after the actual day. She said 100 percent of the Montana schools which participate in TRIO celebrate the program at this time.
Ornowski said MSU-Northern was celebrating the programs in use on the campus. She said the Educational Opportunity Center and Student Support Services are actually on campus, although the Veteran's Upward Bound is administered out of Billings.
The programs included in TRIO are Upward Bound, which provides instruction in various disciplines at college campuses after school, on Saturdays and during the summer.
Upward Bound Math/Science provides college students the opportunity to explore careers and academic study in those disciplines.
Talent Search programs serve students in grades six through twelve. The program provides counseling, information on college admissions requirements, scholarships and various student financial aid programs.
Educational Opportunity Centers are located throughout the country, primarily to serve displaced or under-employed workers. These Centers help people to choose a college and a suitable financial aid program.
Student Support Services helps students to stay in college until they earn a baccalaureate degree. The program provides tutoring, counseling and instruction.
Veteran's Upward Bound provides veterans of the U.S. Armed forces with the skills and motivation to succeed in post-secondary training and education. The program specifically invites veterans who are unemployed, marginally employed or who desire more education to apply. Veterans who are low-income or whose parents have not completed a 4-year degree are eligible.
Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement programs encourage low-income and minority undergraduates to consider careers in as well as prepare for doctoral study. The program is named in honor of an astronaut who died in the 1986 space shuttle explosion. Students who participate in this program are provided with research opportunities and faculty mentors.
An estimated 2 million TRIO students have graduated from college since the program began. The program is designed to help students overcome class, social, cultural and academic barriers to higher education.