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 Veterans’ 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 three TRiO programs at Concord University: Upward Bound, McNair, and Student Support Services.

GEAR UP is another U.S. Department of Education college access program.

TRiO Programs at Concord University


The GEAR UP program provides funding and programming for professional development for teachers and administrators, academic and cultural enrichment for students, and assistance for parents and students in becoming familiar with college options, financial aid, and transition concerns.


The Concord University McNair Scholars Program is the only such program in the state of West Virginia. Through workshops, academic counseling, and other services, our program helps scholars prepare for the graduate school experience academically, financially, and socially.

Student Support Services

Each year the Concord University Student Support Services (SSS) Program assists 206 qualified students in accordance with the U.S. Department of Education’s guidelines. All participants must meet the qualifying criteria:

  • Being a first generation college student,
  • Income eligible, and/or
  • Have a documented physical or learning disability

Upward Bound

On a yearly basis, Upward Bound serves 150 low-income and/or first generation high school students who have a need for academic support to successfully complete high school, enter post-secondary school and earn a baccalaureate degree. Concord University’s Upward Bound Program targets schools from the southern West Virginia counties of Greenbrier, McDowell, Mercer, Monroe, and Summers.