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TRIO Student Support Services

student support services trio logo in black and red The Student Support Services TRiO program is funded by the US Department of Education and operates within the TRiO & Outreach Department of Student Services. The program helps low-income and first-generation college students and individuals with disabilities graduate from college. Services include assistance with securing financial aid; personal, academic and career counseling; academic instruction; assistance with transition to four-year programs from two-year institutions; and assistance with applying to graduate and professional programs.


What is Student Support Services?

Student Support Services (SSS TRiO) is a program funded by the U.S. Department of Education and is part of a network of over 2,600 TRiO programs serving nearly 866,000 students throughout the country.  The mission of SSS TRiO at Palm Beach State College is to:

  • Provide intensive services to include academic advising, financial aid assistance, career guidance, and tutoring/mentoring to a targeted group of students enrolled at Palm Beach State College, thereby
  • Effectively creating opportunities for optimizing student retention, graduation and transfer assistance to four-year colleges/universities, and
  • Promoting an environment for leadership enrichment for positive community involvement and social change.

Our Purpose

Palm Beach State College maintains a Student Support Services TRiO grant from the U.S. Department of Education to provide extensive academic and personal support services to 175 eligible students. The purpose is to increase the college's retention and graduation of students at Palm Beach State College, and to facilitate the successful transition from Associate's to Bachelor's Degrees.

We serve all four out of the 5 campuses Belle Glade, Boca Raton, Lake Worth and Palm Beach Gardens.

"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." - U.S. Department of Education


Palm Beach State's TRiO Programs:

trio programs diagram


History of TRiO

TRiO's history is progressive beginning with the Upward Bound Program in 1964, which emerged from the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964. In 1965, Educational Talent Search, the second outreach program, was created as part of the Higher Education Act. In 1968, Student Support Services was authorized by the Higher Education Amendments and became the third in a series of education opportunity programs. By the late 1960's, 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. Educational Opportunity Centers, Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement Program, and Upward Bound Math/Science all are part of the TRiO family.

The TRiO Programs were originally established by the federal government in 1965 to ensure equal educational opportunity for all Americans, regardless of race, ethnic background, or economic circumstances.

Academic Advising
An advisor will help you make choices and decisions about courses and develop an academic plan to accomplish your degree goals. Your advisor will also help in career planning and personal concerns, along with assisting you in developing strategies in studying and managing your time through workshops.

Financial Aid Assistance
SSS TRiO staff is available to assist in filling out financial aid forms required for federal and state assistance. Visit the webpage for more information about the Financial Aid Department including a list of scholarships.

Transfer Assistance
An advisor can help you with the entire transfer process, from arranging a college tour to the 4-year institution you are interested in, to assisting in filling out the college's application and financial aid paperwork. Any assistance you may need in this process can be addressed by your advisor.

Individual tutoring is available free of charge. Regular tutoring appointments can be made for Student Support Services TRiO participants in any subject area.

Cultural Events & Activities
SSS TRiO sponsors trips to local art galleries, museums and organize various events on campus.

Currently enrolled at Palm Beach State College, low-income, first-generation, and students with disabilities meeting eligibility requirements according to the U.S. Department of Education.

Who is eligible?

  • Low income students
  • First generation College students
  • Students with disabilities

How to apply?

  • Stop by SCA-126 on the Lake Worth campus
  • Call (561) 868-3392 for an eligibility form.
  • Download the Program Application and bring the completed form to SCA-126
    or mail to: Student Support Services TRiO, 4200 Congress Avenue, MS#28 Lake Worth, FL 33461

Are you eligible?
If any of these statements below apply to you, then you may be eligible for support from SSS TRiO

  • Neither of my parents have a 4-year college degree from the United States.
  • I will apply for/am receiving financial aid.
  • I plan to transfer to a 4-year school.
  • I will take a remedial reading/writing and/or math course.
  • I have a disability (and have registered with Disability Support Services).
  • I am currently enrolled at Palm Beach State College.
  • Anastasia Pittman, Student Support Services, Oklahoma State Representative
  • Franklin Chang-Diaz, Student Support Services, University of Connecticut, first Hispanic astronaut
  • A. C. Green, Student Support Services, Oregon State University, NBA basketball player
  • Bernard Harris, Ronald E McNair Scholars, Texas Tech, first African American astronaut
  • Angela Bassett, Upward Bound, St. Petersburg Junior College, actress
  • Kevin Shibilski, Student Support Services, University of Wisconsin, Wisconsin State Senator
  • Beatrice Berry, Upward Bound, University of Delaware, author, award-winning lecturer
  • Gwendolynne Moore, Student Support Services, University of Wisconsin, Wisconsin State Senator
  • John Quinones, Upward Bound, St Mary's University, correspondent for ABC news, "Prime Time Live"
  • Rev. James L Nadau, STI, Upward Bound, Bowdoin College, Roman Catholic priest
  • Viola Davis, Upward Bound, Student Support Services, Rhode Island College, actress
  • Barbara Harmon-Schamberger, Upward Bound, Salem- Teikyo University, General Counsel and Deputy of Securities
  • Wil Haygood, Upward Bound, Ohio Dominican College, Boston Globe feature writer
  • Raul Vasquez, Upward Bound, Laredo Jr. College, University of Houston, Judge
  • Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Upward Bound, Music Producers
  • Belinda Reyes, Upward Bound, Bee Co. College, University of Texas, PhD, Judge
  • Henry Bonilla, Talent Search, former US Congressman, 23rd district of Texas
  • Victor O. Lujan, Talent Search, New Mexico Highlands, former Executive Director of the Eight Northern Indian Pueblos, Inc.

Staff Contact & Location Info


Lake Worth campus - Building: SCA  Office: 126
Telephone: (561) 868-3392   |   Email:    |   Fax: (561) 868-3394
Regular Office Hours: Mon-Fri 8:00am - 5:00pm

SSS Staff

Rowina Petion, Program Director
Phone:  (561) 868-3395

Livia Aragon, Post-Secondary Advisor
Phone:  (561) 868-3396

Josephine Carey, Post-Secondary Advisor
Phone:  (561) 868-4006

Gary Jackson, SSS Representative

Phone: (561) 868-3392


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