TRiO Programs

TRiO programs were established by the U.S. Department of Education and began with only three (hence the name trio) programs over 25 years ago. However, they have grown to include: Educational Talent Search, Upward Bound, Student Support Services, Ronald McNair Programs, Equal Opportunity Centers, and Veteran's Upward Bound. All TRiO programs have the same goals-to make a college education more attainable and to increase the likelihood of a student's success. Currently, there are four TRiO programs at Concord University: Upward Bound, McNair, Student Support Services, and Veterans Upward BoundGEAR UP is another U.S. Department of Education college access program.

Upward Bound

Concord University's Upward Bound Program's mission is to provide tutoring, counseling, academic enrichment, cultural diversification, and motivation to students enabling them to pursue a Baccalaureate degree in a post secondary institution and at the same time, consistently maintaining the college's high level of integrity.

Upward Bound Staff

John Jay Wright - Director

Melissa Buckland - Office Administrator

Chelsea Hollifield - Educational Outreach Counselor

Michael Craighead - Educational Outreach Counselor

Barbara Rush-Meador - Educational Outreach Counselor

Geri Nauck- Program Assistant

Veterans Upward Bound

Concord University's Veterans Upward Bound (CUVUB) Program is a FREE, TRiO program, federally funded by the U.S. Department of Education. The primary goal of CUVUB is to assist, support, and prepare eligible veterans to enter and be successful in and graduate from college.  

Veterans Upward Bound Staff

Katrina Matney - Interim Director

Kristen Williams - Academic Advisor

Matt Spaur - Program Assistant

McNair Scholars Program

The Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program, more commonly referred to as the McNair Scholars Program, awards grants to institutions of higher learning for projects designed to prepare participants for doctoral studies through involvement with research and other scholarly activities. The program targets low-income, first generation students, or members of groups that are underrepresented in certain academic disciplines.

The Concord University McNair Scholars provides access to training and resources designed to make the transition into graduate school smooth and successful. Through workshops, counseling, and other services, the Program helps Scholars sharpen their academic skills, prepare for the GRE and apply to graduate schools.

McNair Staff

Vickie Hart - Administrative Secretary

Lisa Karnes - Program Specialist

Dr. Rodney Klein - Professor of Psychology/Director of McNair Scholars Program

Student Support Services

Student Support Services is a federally-funded TRiO (external link) grant program that has been serving Concord University students since 1973.  Each year the Concord SSS Program assists 200 qualified students in accordance with the U.S. Department of Education’s guidelines.  All participants must meet the qualifying criteria of being first generation, low income, or having a documented physical or learning disability.

SSS Staff

Beth Nelson - Academic Coordinator

Terri Philpott - Director of Student Support Service

Darrick Scott - Educational Counselor II

Andrea Rollins - Administrative Associate


GEAR UP is a federally-funded, six-year program aimed at "Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs." The program helps students in ten high-need counties plan, apply and pay for training beyond high school. The program stresses the importance of earning a two or four-year degree after high school, and provides students with resources to help them obtain those degrees. The program’s ultimate goal is to build a sustainable education program that can be implemented statewide.


Elizabeth Manuel - West Virginia GEAR UP College Access & Success Program Director
Based at Southern WV CTC
(304) 896-7542