Penn State Intercom......February 21, 2002

University ready to celebrate
National TRIO Day on Feb. 27

To call attention to the thousands of students (67 percent from poor and working families) who have advanced their education through Penn State's TRIO programs, the University will celebrate National TRIO Day on Feb. 27. More than 1,200 universities and community agencies now sponsor TRIO programs, but Penn State is one of only two to operate all of the TRIO programs. Since 1965, more than 10.5 million Americans have benefited from the services of the TRIO pre-college and college programs: Talent Search, Upward Bound, Student Support Services, Educational Opportunity Centers, and Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program.

To ensure equal educational opportunity, Americans must have equal access to college and assistance in continuing until graduation. While other federal "financial aid" programs provide direct funds for college, the TRIO programs help students overcome class, social and cultural barriers to success in college. These programs enable Americans, regardless of economic circumstance, race or ethnic background to successfully enroll in college and graduate.

"In many communities throughout America, the TRIO programs are the only programs that help low-income Americans to enter college, graduate and move on to participate more fully in America's economic and social life," said Arnold Mitchem, executive director of the Council for Opportunity in Education (COE).

TRIO programs identify promising students (Talent Search); prepare students for college-level work (Upward Bound and Upward Bound Math/Science); provide information on academic and financial-aid opportunities (Educational Opportunity Centers); provide tutoring and support services to students once they reach campus (Student Support Services); and prepare undergraduates students for graduate school (Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program). TRIO also trains the professionals who administer the projects.

Concentrating on regions of the Commonwealth with the greatest need, Penn State's TRIO programs assist more than 4,500 individuals including middle school students in Western Pennsylvania, high school students from economically depressed areas throughout the state, Penn State undergraduates and low-income adults in the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh areas.

Another program, the Comprehensive Studies Program, funded by the state and the University, helps in-state undergraduates from similar backgrounds. Penn State also operates the federally funded College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) for college students from migrant and seasonal farm-work backgrounds.

The day also will feature diversity workshops for staff conducted by Victor Lee Lewis, best known for his leadership role as the prophetic voice of "The Color of Fear," a video about racism judged the "Best Social Studies Documentary of 1995" by the National Educational Media Association.

Lewis will present in concert with Peggy McIntosh, who in 1988 published the groundbreaking "White Privilege and Male Privilege: A Personal Account of Coming to See Correspondence through Work in Women's Studies." This analysis and its shorter form, "White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack," have been instrumental in putting the dimension of privilege into a discussion of gender, race and sexuality in the United States. McIntosh will be speaking in the HUB Auditorium from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Feb. 27. For details, see the lecture announcement on page 5.

For more information about the University's Academic Assistance Programs, including its TRIO programs, check the Web at