September 18, 2020
TRIO Student Support Services welcomed 25 incoming first-year students to campus for the TRIO Accelerator program at the beginning of the fall semester. This is the second year the successful program has been offered at Montana Western.
Students qualify for the TRIO program if they are first-generation college students, have a disability or fall below a certain income level. With new TRIO students moving in a day earlier than most freshmen, it gave these students the chance to learn about the expectations of the TRIO program and to meet their TRIO advisors, mentors, pick up their books, locate their classrooms and register for financial literacy courses before their first day of classes.
“The programs and activities new TRIO students participate in before classes help to alleviate a lot of anxiety they may be feeling. This is a new experience for the students so having some help to guide them through it is really beneficial,” said TRIO academic advisor, Gloria Janus.
TRIO students also had the opportunity to take a financial literacy course, test their knowledge, and get information about loans, grants, refunds and credit scores. One of the most significant challenges that incoming students face is understanding their financial aid packages and how to make smart decisions about the types of loans they accept.
Even with the difficulties that the pandemic brought, it didn’t stop UMW’s TRIO Office from planning fun, engaging, but most importantly, safe activities for the new students to get to know some of their new classmates and get them ready for the school year.
One of these activities was an introduction to Zoom, the online virtual meeting platform used for classes and group projects. TRIO also held a faculty Q&A session where students could ask a panel of Montana Western professors any questions they had about taking a college course.
“Everyone in the TRIO program has been so supportive. When I first got to campus I was a little nervous because I didn’t know what to expect being a new college student. The TRIO staff and mentors really put my mind at ease by answering all my questions and getting me prepared for the first day of classes,” said new TRIO student, Raquel Little Eagle.
The staff and students who participated in the Accelerator program would like to thank the donors who help make the program possible. The Bank of Commerce supports the Accelerator program and Barretts Minerals sponsors the TRIO mentor and team activities that are held throughout the academic year.
The Montana Western TRIO Student Support Services grant was recently renewed for another five years of funding, ensuring that the program will continue to serve UMW students.
For more information about the University of Montana Western’s TRIO Student Support Services office and provided services, please visit their website.