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This release prepared by the Office of Public Relations and Marketing.
Rebecca Eidson, Director, 646-1507,
Lisa Garrett, Public Relations Associate, 646-1506,

TRiO Programs are Best-Kept Secret in the Nation

(By Lisa Garrett)

PENDLETON --- For nearly 40 years, the TRiO programs have been transforming lives by providing academic and motivational support for students beginning in middle school and continuing through graduation from college.

"These programs have proven to be a decisive factor in the successful completion of higher education for those in most need. In fact, since 1965, an estimated 2.2 million students have graduated from college with special assistance and support of our nation’s TRiO programs," said Elaine Scott-Mattison, director of Tri-County Technical College's TRiO programs.

"But we're still the best-kept secret in the nation," she added.

Tri-County’s three TRiO programs, Upward Bound, Educational Talent Search and Student Support Services, are designed to provide educational opportunities for all Americans regardless of race, ethnic background or economic circumstances, said Scott-Mattison.

These programs have provided support to more than 21,000 first-generation (neither parent has a bachelor's degree) and low-income students in Anderson, Oconee and Pickens counties since 1978.

March 27 - April 1 is National TRiO Week. A series of events is planned to create public awareness of the varied services that the programs provide and to celebrate TRiO's achievements and their role in advancing equal opportunities in post-secondary education, said Scott-Mattison. All events are open to the public.

The week kicks off Tuesday, March 28, with a panel discussion of Funding of Education in the State of South Carolina, Abbeville County School District vs. The State of South Carolina. The event will be held from 10 - 11:30 a.m. in Room 429 of the Health Science Building. Panel members are A. Len Richardson, director of the office of Finance, South Carolina Department of Education; Attorney A. Jackson Barnes, of Sowell, Gray, Stepp and Lafitte, LLC, attorney for Defendants State and House of Representatives, and Dr. Greg Hawkins, director of Jim Self Center on the Future, Strom Thurmond Institute, Clemson.

Other activities include:
Wednesday, March 29
Lunch and a movie will spotlight "The Corridor of Shame, The Neglect of South Carolina's Rural Schools," a 58-minute documentary that tells the story of the challenges faced in funding adequate education in S.C.'s rural school districts. The documentary received an Emmy nomination this year. Screenings will be at 11:15 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. in the Marshall J. Parker Auditorium. Also shown will be Reasons for TRiO, which includes testimonials from TRiO program participants from across the country.

Thursday, March 30
“Old School Block Party” to Celebrate TRiO Day
Noon - 7 p.m.
Parking Lot A (In case of rain, Student Center)
1 - 4 p.m., 98.1 Radio Station
5 – 6:30 p.m. “John on the Road” with John Cessarich, meteorologist for WYFF, News Center 4
An Old School Costume Contest will be held at 1:30 p.m. and at 5 p.m. Tri-County’s admissions and career services personnel will be available to provide information to students and their parents.

Friday, March 31
AnMed Bloodmobile
9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Front Drive, Student Life Center Entrance
This community service project is co-sponsored by the TRiO programs and the Student Government Association.

The week will culminate with TRiO Trek, an annual walk to raise money for need-based scholarships for participants in its Upward Bound, Talent Search and Student Support Services programs.

TRiO Trek will be held Saturday, April 1, beginning at 9:30 a.m. with on-site registration from 8 - 9:15 a.m. Pre-registration is $15 for adults, $10 for TRiO participants and $12 for non-TRiO students. The walk will include a novice course around Tri-County and, for experienced walkers, a 5K course that will proceed through the town of Pendleton and back to the College. Proceeds will benefit the Bobby J. Randolph Scholarship Fund.

"These events are a way to inform the public about the services we offer to first-generation and low-income students and the impact we have on the nation," said Scott-Mattison.

“TRiO has an enormous responsibility in providing supportive services to students from the time they enter middle school until they graduate from college,” she said. "The benefits of TRiO are infinite. Not only do we provide valuable tutoring and counseling services, but we also provide motivational support to students who are thinking about quitting school. When a participant comes back and thanks you for being there during hard times, you can’t measure that."

TRiO Programs at Tri-County Technical College

Student Support Services’ (SSS) goal is to increase the college retention and graduation rate of its participants and to help students make the transition from one level of higher education to the next. More than 150 participants receive a myriad of services including tutoring, counseling and supplemental instruction at the College through SSS.

Upward Bound (UB) provides fundamental support to participants in their preparation for college entrance. The goal is to increase the rate at which participants complete secondary education, enroll in and graduate from post-secondary institutions. All UB programs must provide instruction in math, laboratory science, composition/literature and a foreign language. Tri-County's UB program serves 76 students at 11 area high schools.

The Educational Talent Search (ETS) program purpose is to increase the graduation and college entrance rates of youth from disadvantaged backgrounds. ETS also serves high school dropouts by encouraging them to re-enter the educational system and complete their education. The College’s ETS program serves 650 students at six middle and 13 high schools in the tri-county area. ETS strives to provide academic support (tutoring in middle and high school), cultural exposure, college admissions and financial aid assistance in understanding their educational opportunities.



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