How NAU supports students through its TRIO programs

On National TRIO Day Northern Arizona University celebrated TRIO, a program to help students overcome economic, social, academic and cultural barriers to higher education. 

Since its inception on Feb. 24, 1986, a congressional resolution declared that Feb.28, 1986, be recognized as National TRIO Day to commemorate the annual achievements of the federal TRIO programs in communities across the country. Since then, National TRIO Day has been celebrated the fourth Saturday of February.  

What is TRIO? 

TRIO Student Support Services (SSS), one of many TRIO programs offered on the NAU Flagstaff Mountain campus, is centered around first-generation, income-eligible students and students with disabilities.  It provided services for more than 35 years. The staff partners with undergraduate students in a positive, engaging environment to help them navigate college. 

TRIO SSS at NAU partners with students through:  

  • Peer and professional mentorship 
  • Free personal counseling and tutoring services 
  • Financial literacy education 
  • Graduate school and career preparation 
  • Workshops on a variety of topics such as study skills, financial literacy, and stress management 

The NAU Review interviewed senior Hailey Case about the TRIO SSS program and how it supports students.

How has your time interacting with TRIO SSS impacted you thus far? 

Just through my short time being in the program, I have learned about the different opportunities available to me. Everyone in the program is so friendly and wants you to succeed. The people I’ve met have allowed me to build a community. I really like that everyone is willing to help you and recognizes opportunities that you can get involved in. 

Would you recommend TRIO SSS to others? 

Yes! Joining earlier is more beneficial for sure. I have been able to get a lot of tips for success and career outlook, even though I may have joined late.. Other students I know who have been in the program longer, tell me great things. 

To learn more about TRIO SSS and the staff perspective, we spoke with student development coordinator Rachael Shapiro.  

Why did you choose to work for TRIO SSS? 

In the beginning, I didn’t know much about TRIO and after learning more, I realized that TRIO matched my values and career aspirations. Prior to TRIO SSS I was able to serve for Teach for America and provide educational services to students in New Mexico. Through those experiences, I have developed an education equity background, where I truly believe that ALL students have the right to a holistic education. I really enjoy being able to work with students one-on-one and seeing their growth through higher education. TRIO SSS genuinely cares about the students and their academic areas that they are passionate about.  

What recent student success story are you most proud of? 

This is a difficult question, as I see each of my students as a success. Looking through my list of students that I have been able to work with, I can say that each one has had a success story in their own unique way. Each accomplishment, big or small, is a win for that student.  

What advice would you give to other students? 

Take advantage of all the resources available to you. Ask questions, even during times of struggle and keep asking till you get the answers or things you need for yourself. Be sure to get involved! Participate in areas that spark your interest and could lead to areas where you hope to be.  

If you know of or are looking to apply for the TRIO SSS program, they will be accepting new applications for Fall 2023. To view the criteria to join, visit the website.  

Learn more about all the TRIO student support programs at NAU by visiting the following links:  

NAU Communications