BHSU will celebrate 30th anniversary of National TRIO Day with open house

Author: BHSU Communications/Wednesday, February 24, 2016/Categories: 2016

Black Hills State University will celebrate National TRIO Day Monday, Feb. 29 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Woodburn Hall 107, Office 140, to promote access to education. Amanda Thompson (left), a TRIO student from Faith, worked with Deborah Liddick, math specialist in student support services at BHSU, to get the help she needed to continue to achieve her goals.

Black Hills State University will celebrate the 30th anniversary of National TRIO Day Monday, Feb. 29, recognizing a program that has made a world of difference for millions of first-generation college students.

Community members who would like to learn more about TRIO programs are invited to attend the Open House at BHSU Monday, Feb. 29, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Woodburn Hall 107, Office 140. Students will be available to share information about how they use the TRIO program. Refreshments will be served.

Amanda Thompson, sophomore elementary education and special education major from Faith, said she first heard about TRIO during a college visit to BHSU.

"I could not have imagined how much that day was going to affect my college career in such a positive way," said Thompson. "The TRIO staff at BHSU has helped me find a tutor, scholarships, and a job."

Unlike student financial aid programs which help students overcome financial barriers to higher education, the TRIO programs have been providing needed supportive services to first-generation and income-eligible families to successfully enter college and graduate for over 50 years.

The TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) program at BHSU provides services including tutoring and study skill strategies, academic advisement and class scheduling, career and financial aid counseling, assistance with completion of the FAFSA, financial literacy, as well as assistance with problem-solving and trouble-shooting any obstacles that get in the way of access and success in college, either in the classroom or outside of the classroom.

The TRIO SSS program at BHSU is funded to serve 200 students each year. This represents just a small fraction of the eligible students on campus, as half of the degree-seeking students are estimated to meet the eligibility criteria for the program. The SSS program has been continually funded at BHSU for 45 years, with 100 percent of the funding coming from the U.S. Department of Education. In the 2015-16 academic year, BHSU received $287,459 for the TRIO SSS program. Today, more than 1,000 colleges, universities, and community agencies host more than 2,800 TRIO projects that serve approximately 760,000 young people and adults.

Thompson says TRIO SSS at BHSU is helping her achieve the next step on the path to her ultimate educational goal-obtaining her doctorate in special education.

"My goal is to have my doctorate by age 35. I found my passion by substituting in a special education classroom. TRIO has helped me understand why it's so important not to let any child be lost or forgotten in education," said Thompson.

"I stop by the TRIO office at least once a week. Anytime I need anything, they're there for me," she added. "TRIO is my family here."

Enacted by a United States Congressional Resolution in 1986, TRIO Day is a national call to citizens from all walks of life to come together to promote education access and success in communities where TRIO Programs continue to create change.

To read more about TRIO, visit or contact Susan Hupp, director of student support services, at 605-642-6824 or

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