Metropolitan State TRIO student support programs receive $2 million grant

TRIO students completing one of the many workshops hosted by the program.
TRIO students completing one of the many workshops hosted by the program.

The U.S. Department of Education recently awarded a $2.3 million grant for TRIO-Student Support Services at Metropolitan State. The award, to be disbursed over the next five years, provides $1.23 million to support college engagement, retention and the graduation of limited income students who are first in their families to earn a four-year degree. Of the award, $1.1 million is designated to support academic enrichment, retention and graduation of undergraduate students with disabilities.

The two grants will serve hundreds of eligible students by providing academic mentoring and advising, tutoring and academic development, financial literacy development, graduate school preparation, professional readiness, cultural and social engagement, and service-learning experiences.

“First-generation college students, students coming from limited income backgrounds and students with disabilities face a number of challenges, from how to navigate the college system to feeling a sense of isolation and lack of belonging,” says Metropolitan State TRIO Director Andrew Cseter. “Our hope is to provide an encouraging environment with meaningful, engaging activities.”

Metropolitan State received its first TRIO-Student Support Services grant in 2001 and has since graduated hundreds of first-generation and low-income students. To continue receiving funding, the university submitted a 65-page proposal in a national competition that addresses the university’s needs, retention strategies and how it will implement programming to increase graduation of eligible students. An additional grant proposal was submitted addressing support services for students with disabilities, which received a perfect score.

Metropolitan State also provides TRIO—Upward Bound, a college-access program that works with low-income, underrepresented high school students to prepare them for colleges and universities. The Upward Bound program is also funded through the U.S. Department of Education and receives $250,000 per year.