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UCO Receives Historic Grant Approval from the US Department of Education for TRIO Programs

UCO Old North building

Sept. 19, 2022

Media Contact: Kyla Carter, Communications and Marketing Coordinator, UCO University Communications, 405-974-2127, kcarter25@uco.edu

UCO Receives Historic Grant Approval from the US Department of Education for TRIO Programs 

The University of Central Oklahoma recently received eight grants, totaling more than $8 million, from the U.S. Department of Education to continue funding for its federal TRIO programs. The recent grant award, combined with past year project renewals, allows Central to continue to host all eight TRIO programs fully funded and operating at the same time–an unheard-of recognition in the field of higher education and the second time in Central history. 

“This is a major milestone for our university and our community. Receiving funding that covers all eight programs, is an opportunity to provide services to deserving underrepresented, low-income, first-generation, veterans and students with disabilities,” said Barry Lofton, executive director of TRIO and GEAR UP programs at Central.

“UCO believes in fostering these underrepresented communities. We write these grants to show our support and partnership and to help individuals reach their higher education goals and dreams. Partnering with these students and their families for the next five years will be instrumental for their future. UCO’s commitment to TRIO programs in all capacities is undeniable.”

The federal TRIO programs include eight programs targeted to serve and assist low-income individuals, first-generation college students and individuals with disabilities to progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to post-secondary programs. UCO is the only institution in the nation that houses all eight TRIO programs in addition to the six versions of Student Support Services (SSS) programs. 

Each of the recently received grants provides funding to support unique segments of the Central community, from veterans to future students to those pursuing graduate school and professional development. The individual programs offer services like one-on-one tutoring; peer, faculty and community mentoring; academic and career exploration workshops; financial literacy programming; cultural activities; persistence coaching; leadership development; graduate school visits; and, scholarship opportunities.

The most recent funded programs include:

·      Upward Bound Central Prep Program (one grant), which will serve 75 students from participating Oklahoma City high schools who are also low-income, first-generation college students or students with disabilities;

·      Upward Bound Math and Science Program (one grant), which will serve 62 students from participating Oklahoma City high schools who are also low-income, first-generation college students or students with disabilities;

·      VUB: Veterans Upward Bound Programs (two grants), which will serve 250 U.S. military veterans and provide postsecondary education assistance;   

·      UCO McNair Scholars Program (one grant), which will provide guidance and mentorship to 25 underrepresented, low-income, first-generation college students or students with disabilities preparing for graduate school; and,

·      TRIO Training Programs (three grants), which will provide training and professional development to 900 TRIO professionals working in higher education.

Central’s other TRIO programs received prior funding and include Talent Search, Educational Opportunity Centers (EOC) and the six SSS programs. They include SSS Disabilities; SSS Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM); SSS Veterans; SSS Education; SSS English as a Second Language (ESL); and, SSS Traditional.

The combined funding totaled $19.6 million and allows the university to offer every TRIO program to students. 

For more information about UCO’s federal education programs, visit https://www.uco.edu/student-resources/federal-education-programs/.

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Editor's Note: Download art associated with this release at https://media.uco.edu/press/uploads/2022/08/0cy5669.jpg

Cutline: The University of Central Oklahoma recently received eight grants from the U.S. Department of Education to continue funding for its federal TRIO programs. With the recent awarding of more than $8 million, combined with past year project renewals, Central continues to host all eight TRIO programs fully funded and operating at the same time–an unheard-of recognition in the field of higher education. Pictured, Central’s Old North building.