2021-2022 Academic Catalog

TRIO and Academic Development Services

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Lisa Driscoll (chair) | Jeanne Fazekas | Laura A. Giachetti | Nathan Knopp | Marnie Hall Martin | Eron M. McMillen | Jennifer Ramsey


The mission of the department is to foster students' academic, social, cultural and career success through programming, support and academic services. The department provides services to University and TRIO college students as well as eligible high school students from nine target high schools that participate in three federal TRIO grant-funded programs: Student Support Services and two Upward Bound Programs: Fayette and Monongahela Projects. 


TRIO Student Support Services (SSS)


Faculty course offerings include:

  • EDU 210  Critical Thinking and Reading
  • XCP 194  Career Planning
  • UNI 100  First-Year Seminar
  • UNI 200  Career Readiness

Counseling and Supports

TRIO Counselors provide educational career counseling and academic advisement to students from their first year until graduation. New program students are interviewed and receive an orientation and academic plan. Counselors help students select and register for courses; monitor each student's academic performance; and provide students with information concerning academic resources, policies, procedures and practices. Program students receive priority registration, financial literacy and planning (including scholarship), personal development workshops, tutoring, mentorship, learning communities, graduate school planning, and grant aid (for those that meet criteria). Students may also participate in cultural enrichment opportunities offered on/off campus. Any student interested in services should contact the TRIO SSS office at 724-938-4230.

Literacy and Academic Support

A faculty member is dedicated to:

  • Work 1:1 with students in all aspects of literacy and support the development of reading at the college level.
  • Assess students' reading needs, implement strategies and evaluate instruction.

TRIO SSS will provide linkage to the Vulcan Leaning Commons (VLC), which offers face-to-face and online tutoring support, including:

  • Supplemental instruction that improves student performance in historically difficult courses.
  • Connect with a student who has been successful in the course.
  • Teaches skills in a supportive environment for academic success.
  • Reviews lecture notes, textbooks and other course materials.
  • Teaches test-taking skills.


The club is open to all students and has a focus on supporting TRIO-eligible students through both on- and off-campus events, providing students with an opportunity to stay connected and involved with their peers.

TRIO Mentor Program

Students can select from faculty, staff or administrative mentors on campus. The mentor program helps students build relationships with faculty/staff/administrators who share similar experiences. Students will have the opportunity to meet with their mentors regularly and participate in campus events, including the #IAMFIRST campaign.

TRIO Upward Bound (UB) Programs

Cal U is committed to community outreach for local students in the surrounding high schools. TRIO Upward Bound is a federally-funded TRIO program that helps to prepare eligible high school students for success in postsecondary education. The program is available to students meeting TRIO eligibility and offers year-round support and services through Saturday, after-school and summer college preparatory activities. 

Cal U hosts two TRIO Upward Bound programs, Fayette and Monongahela.

Upward Bound (UB) helps high school students prepare for and succeed in college after high school. The program offers a wide array of services that include academic and career guidance; college tours; exposure to college majors/careers; tutoring and study skills; applications for college and financial planning; fee waivers and college planning workshops; cultural exposure; and field trips. Students can also earn up to nine college credits prior to high school graduation that will transfer to a desired post-secondary institution.

Anyone interested in learning more about this opportunity should contact the TRIO Upward Bound office at 724-938-4470.