National TRIO Day 2021

Saturday, February 27, 2021 Commemorating TRIO program achievements nationwide

On February 24, 1986, a congressional resolution (H. Con. Res. 278) declared that Saturday, February 28, 1986, should be designated as “National TRIO Day” to commemorate the annual achievements of the Federal TRIO programs in communities across the country. NTD this year is Saturday, February 27.

Every year since then, our community has reserved the fourth Saturday in February as National TRIO Day—an opportunity to focus the nation’s “attention on the needs of disadvantaged young people and adults aspiring to improve their lives if they are to become contributing citizens of the country, and to the talent which will be wasted if that investment is not made.”¹

TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) at Inver Hills

TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) empowers students to succeed at Inver Hills and transfer to earn a four-year degree by providing academic advising, guidance in the transfer process and a positive community of support. SSS is one of the federally-funded TRIO programs that provide a pathway to higher education opportunities and success. If you are planning to graduate from Inver Hills and transfer to earn a bachelor’s degree, TRIO SSS could be a great fit for you!

What does TRIO SSS provide?

  • Personalized academic advising, career planning and major exploration
  • College transfer planning
  • Campus visits to four-year institutions
  • Workshops on various topics, including study skills, financial literacy and time management
  • Social and cultural events

How to Join

To join TRIO SSS, you must complete the application (below) and submit it to TRIO in the College Center room 255 or via email at After you apply, you will receive an email from TRIO staff regarding the next steps to join the program. TRIO is now accepting applications for spring 2020.

Important note: You must have applied to Inver Hills and activated your StarID before you may apply to TRIO. At the link below, use <YourStarID> and your StarID password to sign in. Please see the Technology Services page for more information on free Office365 access for Inver Hills students.

2020–2021 TRIO SSS Application

Why should you join?

  • Connections to campus resources and opportunities
  • Inclusive, supportive community
  • Proactive advising
  • Network of motivated students
  • Personalized transfer planning

Who is eligible to participate?

TRIO SSS selects 140 students a year to participate in the program. In order to be considered, please complete and submit a TRIO application online. The staff will review the applications and invite potential students to an intake meeting.

Students must be either a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, enrolled in a degree program and taking a minimum of 6 credits. Students must also meet at least one of the following federal eligibility criteria:

  • First-generation college student (parent or guardian did not hold a bachelor’s degree while the student was in high school)
  • Meet federal income guidelines
  • Be eligible to receive accommodations through Disability Services at Inver Hills


Matt Kruger: TRIO SSS director perspective…

Matt Kruger

Inver Hills was first awarded a TRIO grant in 2010. In 2020, we marked our 10-year anniversary. In those 10 years, TRIO supported well over 500 students, who have continually demonstrated the strength and resilience of first-generation college students, students from low-income backgrounds, and students with disabilities.

TRIO participants have succeeded academically at rates far exceeding community college students as a whole, showing that the investment in the success of TRIO students has paid off enormously. Even beyond the individual impact, the community impact is huge.

When TRIO students succeed and graduate, they also support their siblings, friends, neighbors, and sometimes even their own parents in pursuing higher education. The ripple effects spread and benefit us all.

We are excited to be able to continue these efforts as the TRIO program has been awarded a new five-year grant that ensures it will continue to support students at Inver Hills through until at least 2025.

Matt Kruger
TRIO Student Support Services Director
Travelers EDGE Director
Inver Hills Community College

Alicia Atwater: TRIO SSS academic advisor perspective

Alicia Atwater

I stumbled upon TRIO as an internship in 2012 while I was in grad school. I knew only what I’d read online about it and thought it was a cool opportunity—nothing more. Almost nine years later, I’m still working in TRIO and have no intention of leaving. My former coworker told me “TRIO gets in your blood and stays in your heart.” I thought it seemed awfully sentimental at the time, but he’s absolutely right.

I’ve stayed in TRIO because of the people; Matt Kruger and Catima Wilson, my coworkers, are amazing. TRIO professionals are vibrant and actively working toward breaking down systemic social inequities in higher education, and our students are some of the best people I’ve ever had the chance to meet.

Every day I go to work excited for a new challenge, the joy of seeing students break down a barrier, march forward to achieve their goals, and go further than they ever dared to dream. It’s not just about their individual goals, either.

The community TRIO students build with one another is beautiful; students who were never in TRIO at the same time showing up to support one another, helping with integrating onto a new campus, and forging forever bonds.

Alicia Atwater
TRIO Student Support Services Advisor
Inver Hills Community College

TRIO SSS at Inver gallery

Inver Hills News stories: TRIO SSS participants

Student Spotlight: Janaya Thomas

Travelers EDGE Scholar heading for Augsburg

Janaya Thomas

Student Spotlight: Tamika Black

Student Senate president earning A.A. with Emphasis in Anthropology

Tamika Black

Student Spotlight: Patrick Torralba

Chemistry major transferring to U of M College of Biological Sciences

Patrick Torralba

TRIO SSS Student Mentors

Jadé Milton, Mary Anthony and Todjer Morrell help fellow students succeed in college

Jadé Milton, Todjer Morrell, and Mary Anthony

Alumna Spotlight: Jessica Neppl

TRIO SSS student transfers to St. Olaf

Jessica Neppl

Artist Spotlight: Adan Bonilla

Abstract painter is also Golden Gloves boxer with 5–0 record

Learn more about TRIO Student Support Services at Inver Hills by contacting:

Matt Kruger
TRIO Student Support Services Director
Travelers EDGE Director

Alicia Atwater
TRIO Student Support Services Advisor

Catima Wilson
TRIO Student Support Services and EDGE Academic Advisor
BSU Advisor
Inver Hills Community College

¹ SOURCE: Council for Opportunity in Education
TRIO SSS Spring 2018 Celebration

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