UND TRIO Programs
TRIO Programs at the University of North Dakota include the following:
Upward Bound is a year-round program, within the Division of Student Affairs, sponsored by the University of North Dakota and the United States Department of Education. The purpose of the Upward Bound Program is to assist disadvantaged high school students in developing and enhancing their academic and motivational skills so they may graduate and successfully enroll in a postsecondary educational institution.
Talent Search is sponsored by the University of North Dakota and the United States Department of Education. The purpose of Talent Search is to provide assistance to people having academic potential but lacking adequate information or school preparation to enter, continue or resume programs of secondary and post-secondary education.
Educational Opportunity Center
Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) helps individuals with academic potential to become enrolled in the college of their choice. EOC works specifically with people who have a low income and who are first generation, meaning neither parent graduated from a four-year college. Congress authorized funding for EOCs across the country in 1972. Members of Congress understood that adults often lack information about how to become enrolled in college, and how to get financial aid to help them pay for it. Helping low income, first-generation adults enroll in college helps to equalize access to higher education in America.
Student Support Services
The Student Support Services Program at the University of North Dakota is a program within the Division of Student Affairs, funded by the United States Department of Education. This program is designed to provide support services to economically disadvantaged, first-generation students and or students with disabilities.
Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program
The Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program at the University of North Dakota is a program within the Division of Student Affairs, funded by the United States Department of Education.
McNair Faculty Focus: October - Dr. Christopher Atkinson
The Joy of McNair Scholars Program
Learning is joy, and McNair Scholar research at UND is a joy for both students and McNair mentors. Ms. Manna Khan recently joined the McNair Scholars program to advance her work in Geography. She is working with Dr. Christopher Atkinson and is keenly interested in water pollution in Bangladesh as it pertains to pollution sources and the connection and impact to human populations. The process of asking questions and seeking answers is a joy for Ms. Khan. Her mentor sees advancement in her character and aptitude for independent research even in the short time since work began. While this progression of student skill in research brings joy to Dr. Atkinson, the main focus of the McNair program is to help undergraduate students prepare for graduate-level research. In this regard, Ms. Khan sees the joy in learning at each and every McNair research session by taking good notes and bringing a positive attitude even though the focus of these meetings could be deemed "dry" by others. By working together and compromising when needed, Ms. Khan and her mentor developed a great working relationship during Summer 2014. During the Halloween weekend, Ms. Khan and other UND scholars from the McNair program travel to a conference in Wisconsin; Ms. Khan will discover the joy of sharing research discoveries. When she returns to UND, Ms. Khan knows the research she wants to pursue: she has recognized the joy of research when a plan is in place. Dr. Atkinson looks forward to helping her discover the joy of applying her research to an important topic and finding out what the results indicate for Bangladesh. The McNair Scholars program remains a very important segment of student opportunity at UND. The program creates solid results for students and professors alike as they strive to commonly pursue the mutual love and joy of research in common company.
McNair Faculty Focus: November - Dr. Kathryn Yurkonis
The McNair Scholar's Program Builds Experience Beyond the Classroom
By working one on one with faculty mentors, McNair Scholar researchers at UND start on their path to develop independent research careers. In 2011, Ms. Leslie Yellow Hammer joined the McNair Scholars program to learn more about research in biology. She was keenly aware that she wanted not only to be part of the scientific process, but to direct it. She joined Dr. Yurkonis' Grassland Ecology Lab in fall 2011, and is now directing her second independent research project on plant-insect interactions.The main focus of the McNair program is to help undergraduate students prepare for graduate-level research by providing them opportunities to develop as independent researchers outside of the classroom. As part of this program, Ms. Yellow Hammer has designed her own experiments, collected and analyzed her own data, and disseminated her results at regional and national conferences. She has gained field and lab skills working with plants, insects, and soil biota, and has had the opportunity to interact with multiple faculty and graduate student mentors at UND.
The McNair experience helps students to develop skills in conducting research, but also in helping others to build their scientific awareness. Ms. Yellow Hammer has mentored several students within the McNair and US MASTERS programs as they have pursued their own research projects within the lab. In this process she has found that she truly enjoys helping others learn more about research.
These collective opportunities to understand the research process and how to broadly influence society with her research have helped prepare Ms. Yellow Hammer for the next stage of her career. Ms. Yellow Hammer recently submitted a proposal to the National Science Foundation's Graduate Research Fellowship program to support her proposed cutting-edge graduate research project on plant-soil interactions and will be applying to graduate school this fall. The McNair Scholars program provides a strong foundation of mentoring and skill-building opportunities for students to move forward with the next stages of their careers as independent researchers.
McNair Faculty Focus: January - Dr. Birgit Hans
Exciting opportunity not boring obligation
For years I had heard anecdotal evidence that students benefitted from doing serious research while undergraduates. I was told that it built confidence as well as various academic skills, such as critical thinking and writing among others. Admittedly, I was intrigued, and, when I was approached by Patrice Giese from the McNair Program over a decade ago, I was ready to try it. What no one had told me was how rewarding the experience is to the mentor of the undergraduate students doing research. It is certainly stimulating to discuss issues with them and to hear their perspectives, which often differ from mine and, frequently, encourage me to do more reading or to re-examine my own thinking. The most exciting moments for me are when students discover the joys of doing primary research and see connections between their research and their reading. I have been very fortunate in being able to mentor at least one student a year and feel that the experience enriches my own academic life.
My latest mentee is Sashay Schettler, a student from the Three Affiliated Tribes. She has embarked on doing research on Native language revitalization, a project that carries a certain urgency since many Native languages are threatened with extinction. There is only one fluent speaker of Mandan, one of the languages formerly spoken on the Fort Berthold Reservation, left. At present Sashay is inventorying existing programs, but she is also very much aware of the culturally specific needs for a successful language revitalization. Sashay's enthusiasm for her research is infectious, and I am looking forward to seeing how her research will develop and what conclusions she will reach.
McNair Faculty Focus: Summer - Dr. Rebecca Simmons
Being in the right place at the right time
Sometimes, finding a direction involves luck--being in the right place at the right time. For Rebecca (Becca) Devine that “right place” was Prof. Chris Felege’s Concepts of Biology course. After that, Becca switched her major to Fisheries and Wildlife Biology. I met Becca when she enrolled in General Biology II during the 2014 summer session. I knew immediately that Becca should join my lab, because of the honeybee tattoo on her shoulder! My luck proved to be good as well; Becca is an excellent student researcher who has a promising career in Entomology. Becca’s work is an important first step in her career, allowing her to work with project that builds on the work of previous McNair scholars. Through this collaboration and her work, Becca is able to make a unique contribution to what is known about prairie fauna.
Becca is interested in pollinators and conservation. Pollinators are key to the success of plant species, acting as matchmakers for plants as they reproduce. Pollinators are also economically important to agriculture. North Dakota depends more on pollinators for crop production more than any state in the U.S. Unfortunately, pollinator health has suffered due to a variety of factors including: global climate change, habitat fragmentation, reduced diversity of plant species, and pesticide use. Little is known about the health of North Dakota pollinators; Becca’s research addresses this key question.
Becca collaborates with other McNair students, Leslie Yellow Hammer and Tiffany Huwe, and their advising team, Drs. Yurkonis and Goodwin for her research project. In summer 2014, Leslie and Tiffany (along with others from the Yurkonis/Goodwin team) collected pollinators from a variety of plants in Meckinok, ND. Currently, Becca is using genetic sequence data to identify these insects. With this information, Becca will be able to provide a list of the pollinators found at this site, and will be able to examine the genetic diversity of these species to determine if pollinators are susceptible to environmental changes and other factors. During this process, Becca is able to learn study design, methods of data collection and analysis, and presentation skills. The McNair program, through its support services, has been essential to Becca’s development as a researcher and professional scientist. I am grateful to be working with Becca as she pursues her dream of becoming an Entomologist.
What is TRIO?
TRIO is a set of federally-funded college opportunity programs that motivate and support students from disadvantaged backgrounds in their pursuit of a college degree. Over 850,000 low-income, first-generation students and students with disabilities — from sixth grade through college graduation — are served by more than 2,800 programs nationally. TRIO programs provide academic tutoring, personal counseling, mentoring, financial guidance, and other supports necessary for educational access and retention. TRIO programs provide direct support services for students, and relevant training for directors and staff.
Where did TRIO originate?
The TRIO programs were the first national college access and retention programs to address the serious social and cultural barriers to education in America. (Previously only college financing had been on policymakers' radar.) TRIO began as part of President Lyndon B. Johnson's War on Poverty. The Educational Opportunity Act of 1964 established an experimental program known as Upward Bound. Then, in 1965, the Higher Education Act created Talent Search. Finally, another program, Special Services for Disadvantaged Students (later known as Student Support Services), was launched in 1968. Together, this "trio" of federally-funded programs encouraged access to higher education for low-income students. By 1998, the TRIO programs had become a vital pipeline to opportunity, serving traditional students, displaced workers, and veterans. The original three programs had grown to eight, adding Educational Opportunity Centers in 1972, Training Program for Federal TRIO programs in 1976, the Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement Program in 1986, Upward Bound Math/Science in 1990, and the TRIO Dissemination Partnership in 1998.
Who is Served?
As mandated by Congress, two-thirds of the students served must come from families with incomes under $33,075, where neither parent graduated from college. More than 2,850 TRIO projects currently serve more than 830,000 low-income Americans. Many programs serve students in grades six through 12. Thirty-seven percent of TRIO students are Whites, 35% are African-Americans, 19% are Hispanics, 4% are Native Americans, 4% are Asian-Americans, and 1% are listed as "Other," including multiracial students. More than seven thousand students with disabilities and approximately 6,000 U.S. veterans are currently enrolled in the TRIO Programs as well.
How it works
More than 1,000 colleges, universities, community colleges, and agencies now offer TRIO Programs in America, the Caribbean, and the Pacific Islands. TRIO funds are distributed to institutions through competitive grants.
Why are TRIO Programs important?
The United States needs to boost both its academic and economic competitiveness globally. In order to foster and maintain a healthy economy as well as compete globally, the United States needs a strong, highly-educated, and competent workforce. To be on par with other nations, the country needs students, no matter their background, who are academically prepared and motivated to achieve success.
Low-income students are being left behind. Only 38% of low-income high school seniors go straight to college as compared to 81% of their peers in the highest income quartile. Then, once enrolled in college, low-income students earn bachelor's degrees at a rate that is less than half of that of their high-income peers — 21% as compared with 45%.
The growing achievement gap in our country is detrimental to our success as a nation. There is a tremendous gap in educational attainment between America's highest and lowest income students - despite similar talents and potential. While there are numerous talented and worthy low-income students, relatively few are represented in higher education, particularly at America's more selective four-year colleges and universities. While nearly 67% of high-income, highly-qualified students enroll in four-year colleges, only 47% of low-income, highly-qualified students enroll. (ACSFA 2005)
Director of TRIO Programs