Luther College awarded $1.5 million federal TRIO grant

Luther College has been awarded a five-year federal grant for its' TRIO Achievement Program. TRIO provides participating students with holistic, individualized support and comprehensive programming that promotes their academic success, personal development and sense of community.

The grant, which covers a five-year period, allows Luther to continue and to enhance the TRIO program. Luther will receive $284,754 during the first year of the grant, and the total five-year amount is projected at approximately $1.5 million.

The Luther College TRIO Achievement Program currently serves 185 students, including nearly 60 students entering Luther this fall. New this year, incoming TRIO students have access to a course that serves as the foundation for their learning and development over the next four years.

Luther is among several colleges and universities selected to receive grants through the U.S. Department of Education for the TRIO Student Support Services Program. This federally funded student retention program helps first-generation and income-eligible students make the most of their college experience and reach their potential. TRIO programs are required to submit annual performance reports, meet specific objectives and compete nationally for continued funding every five years. Program evaluation and funding are based on persistence and graduation rates of participating students.

Luther's TRIO student persistence rate has exceeded 93 percent the past three years.

"We are thrilled to be able to continue our work with TRIO students at Luther and look forward to implementing the advancements in the funded grant proposal," said Tammy Hove, director of the TRIO Achievement Program.

Rounding out the TRIO team are Cheryl Wieseler, adviser and instructor; Chivonne Marlow, adviser and tutoring coordinator; and Jennifer Folstad, administrative assistant.

Beyond the foundation course, TRIO services at Luther include personal coaching/advising, peer mentoring, community-building activities, individual and group tutoring, financial education and support, academic skill building, textbook and technology lending, leadership development opportunities and graduate/professional school admission assistance. TRIO resources and more information on Luther's TRIO program are available online at: trio.luther.edu.

TRIO isn't an acronym. Rather, the name refers to the three programs that the federal government established in the Higher Education Act of 1965 to ensure equal educational opportunity for all Americans regardless of race, ethnic background, or economic circumstance. TRIO has since expanded to include additional programs.

Luther College has sponsored a TRIO program to its students since 1973. At the national level, TRIO is observing its 50th anniversary.