TRIO Student Support Services

TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) makes the college transition smoother by offering one-on-one advising, workshops and other services to help low-income students, first-generation college students, and students with disabilities succeed in college. The program can help you build on your strengths and address your areas of concern.

  • Tutoring
  • Academic advising
  • Career development assistance
  • Equipment access
  • Workshops

All services are free to eligible students.

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The purpose of the TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) program is:

  • To increase college retention and graduation rates for eligible students;
  • To increase the transfer rates of eligible students from two-year to four-year institutions; and
  • To foster an institutional climate supportive of the success of low-income and first-generation college students and individuals with disabilities.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Black Hawk College Student Support Services (SSS) program is to provide opportunities for academic development and to motivate students toward the successful completion of their postsecondary education in an environment that promotes acceptance, understanding and lifelong learning.


The goal of SSS is to increase the college retention and graduation rates of its participants and facilitate the process of transition from one level of higher education to the next, through completion of an associate degree and transfer to a four-year program.


The history of TRIO is progressive. It began with Upward Bound which emerged out of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 in response to the administration’s War on Poverty. In 1965, Talent Search, the second outreach program, was created as part of the Higher Education Act. In 1968, Student Support Services, which was originally known as Special Services for Disadvantaged Students, was authorized by the Higher Education Amendments and became the third in a series of educational opportunity programs. By the late 1960s, the term “TRIO” was coined to describe these federal programs.

Over the years, the TRIO programs have been expanded and improved to provide a wider range of services and to reach more students who need assistance. The 1976 Education Amendments authorized the Training Program for Federal TRIO Programs, initially known as the Training Program for Special Programs Staff and Leadership Personnel. The legislative requirements for all six TRIO programs can be found in the Higher Education Act of 1965, Title IV, Part A, Subpart 2.

TRIO is 100% federally funded by the U.S. Department of Education. FY 2020 Funding Amount: $384,194. 

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