Support for first-generation college students

Jacki Brickner, Opinion Editor

Are any of you feeling the stress and expectations that come from being the among the first in your family to go to college? If so, I am like you. I am a first-generation college student, the second in my family to go to college.

This in and of itself makes me a rarity among my family members, many of whom who don’t understand what I am trying to accomplish or need to get done so I can succeed.

These pressures weigh on me and often make me question my decision to go back to college.

However, there is help for students like us. TRiO is a service at the school that provides support for first-generation students.

According to the school’s website, TRiO/Student Support Services is a federally-funded support program “created to increase student retention and graduation rates and to facilitate student transfer from Madison College to a four-year college or university.”

The TRiO/SSS Program at Madison College provides a network of academic support services that include:

• Study skill development to help students achieve academic success.

• Tutoring and/or supplemental instruction to help students master course content.

• Individualized academic, career and personal advising to help students develop professional skills, build confidence, and promote academic and personal success.

• Goal setting and development of a Personal Education Plan (PEP).

• Financial aid, financial literacy and scholarship assistance.

• Student success workshops, career guidance, campus tours and panel discussions.

• A peer-mentoring program (connecting TRiO students with first-year TRiO students).

• Transfer assistance and advising.

So, my fellow first-generation students, you don’t need to feel alone. We aren’t many, but the few of us here are a group.

TRiO is here to help you reach your full potential, and I highly recommend it for all first-generation students.