New year brings changes to TRiO programming

Photo couresty of TRiO

There are swift changes being made in the TRiO Student Support Services (SSS) offices in hopes of adjusting and improving the program for the many students it serves.

TRiO is a program that helps students with disabilities, first-generation students and students who meet certain federal income guidelines. The program’s mission is to help these students have successful experiences while attending Xavier and beyond as they build their respective careers.

According to TRiO director Dr. Daniel L. McSpadden, one of TRiO’s missions is to “provide a route that helps (students) to navigate and transition through Xavier easier than it would be if they were doing it on their own.”

McSpadden has been a part of the TRiO team since May of 2016, and his primary concern continues to be whether or not the needs of TRiO students are being adequately met.

McSpadden tries to “keep his ear to the ground,” and he often interacts with students both inside and outside of TRiO to better understand what steps the program needs to make to ensure the successful futures of all of its members.

It is the input of students that encourages TRiO to continue specific programs, improve programs or replace them altogether with more beneficial experiences and opportunities.

Throughout McSpadden’s time with TRiO, the team has been trying to put a spin on older programs so that all students “see some different things and can see the information from a different angle.”

McSpadden emphasized the importance of these changes, especially for the seniors of the program.

Many of these students have been members since their first year at Xavier, which raises the issue of potentially repeating previous seminars for older students rather than offering more relevant information. Because of this, senior seminars are being implemented so that students in their last year at Xavier are better prepared for the transition from undergraduate to graduate school or their career.

TRiO continues to provide all of its students with seminars, team-building activities and information sessions or workshops that often involve corporations and organizations in the Cincinnati area.

However, the department is not afraid of new and different things, which has led to a few changes and reattempting previously unsuccessful programs.

An older program that is being implemented once again is the annual senior graduate school trip. One goal of this event is to help students learn what steps must be taken to be admitted into graduate school if they choose to apply.

Although TRiO experienced some issues with this program in the past, last year’s trip to Atlanta proved to be a hit with students, and the department plans to take its current seniors on a trip to North Carolina this year to visit Duke University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina Central University.

Another change that will take effect in TRiO during the 2018-2019 school year is the inclusion of some new advisers.

As director, McSpadden regularly ensures that advisors are helping students, and he said that these advisers will provide “new energy and new ideas to help complement what we are already doing here at TRiO.”

Through these improvements and replacements, TRiO hopes to continue guiding its students on bright and successful paths into the future, according to McSpadden.

By: Alana Harvey ~Guest Writer~