TRiO Testimonial

"Wynn Gooch, Heather Bonner, and Susan Pobst of TRiO provide not only academic support but also serve as pillars of compassion and understanding. They truly care about their students' well-being. Columbia State isn't just a place to learn; it's a place to belong. Whether you're navigating academic challenges or seeking guidance in life, our faculty and staff are here to support you
every step of the way."

Rob Beard

Rob Beard and Stinky in cap and gown

Commencement Spring 2024

Abigail Hanson
Basketball player
Ben Hatcher
Basketball player
Kaliegh Hopper
basketball player
Tralisa Williams
basketball player
Basketball player
Kaliegh Hopper
Madelyn Sabol
Megan Escue
Basketball player

Summer Bridge

Summer Bridge is an educational pre-college orientation designed to assist with the successful transition to college. This is for new TRiO students and is at no cost.

Participants will receive college credit for the required College Success course (COLS 101).

July 15 - 19, 2024
9 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Columbia Campus; Hickman 121

Participants need to:

  • Be fully admitted to Columbia State and plan to enroll into fall courses.
  • Complete the 2023-2024 and 2024-2025 FAFSA.
  • If using TN Promise, complete eight hours of community service by July 1.
  • Complete and submit Columbia State TRiO and TRiO Summer Bridge applications.
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Fun Times

TRIO students are always up to something.

Recently students went to UT Southern for a campus tour. Afterwards, we went to the Polk House. We also went to a Chargers basketball game and cheered on our TRiO students on the team. Check out our photos to see how much fun we have!

Trio Photos
Trio at UTC and Tennessee Aquarium
Our Mission
The mission of the TRiO/Student Support Services program is to provide underrepresented student populations with the added support mechanisms needed to meet the challenges of higher education. Through the development of academic and personal skills, the program focuses on increasing student retention and promoting degree completion.


TRiO eligibility is determined by federal regulations. To qualify, a student must be a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident and meet one of the following criteria:

  • Be a first-generation college student (neither parent has a bachelor’s degree)
  • Be income eligible (according to federal guidelines)
  • Have a documented disability

Interested in applying for Columbia State’s TRiO Program?

To apply for the TRiO Student Support Services, submit a completed TRiO application. Then schedule an appointment to meet with the director or adviser, who will determine eligibility and work with you to develop an educational success plan.

Services Provided

  • Academic Coaching
  • Career Exploration
  • College and University Visits
  • Cultural and Social Engagement Events
  • Financial Literacy
  • Assistance with FAFSA
  • Registration Assistance
  • Student Success Lunch and Learns
  • Transfer Support
  • Tutoring Services
  • Summer Bridge

College Deadlines and Events

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The Federal TRiO Programs (TRiO) are Federal outreach and student services programs designed to identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. TRIO includes 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 baccalaureate programs. The goal of Student Support Services (SSS) is to increase the college retention and graduation rates of its participants.