TRiO Offers Student Assistance

    (Published: 01-03-20)

A picture of the OCCC Campus

The Oklahoma City Community College TRiO program is looking for students who want to help their fellow schoolmates.

“I’ve been on the other side, as a student who needed tutoring, and I can say it makes a huge difference,” said Extonia Eddington, a new TRiO student tutor. “I was here for math last year. It seemed like I was here every day. I got tons of help.”

Now she is eager to return the favor in the spring semester, tutoring students in writing and nutrition courses. TRiO needs more people like Eddington, said Jennifer Privett, assistant director of TRiO Student Support Services.

TRiO is an educational opportunity program funded through the U.S. Department of Education designed to help eligible students reach their academic goals and transfer to four-year institutions. TRiO Student Support Services focuses on low-income and first-generation college students and those with disabilities.

To that end, the program helps students navigate processes such as selecting courses and filling out financial aid forms. TRiO also provides connections to other campus resources, scholarship search assistance and trips to four-year schools for degree transfers – the program has already scheduled a trip to Arkansas before the end of the year, and Privett is looking at schools in the Washington, D.C., area in 2020.

Tutoring is a proven component in academic success, she said. Student tutors must be work-study eligible and have completed courses successfully with As and Bs. Tutor openings change with each semester as participants graduate and move on, although some course areas are more difficult to fill than others.

“I don’t know why, but we always seem to need help in math and any of the sciences,” Privett said. “We’ve got excellent labs on campus, which work great for many students. They are excellent resources. The main difference with TRiO is that our tutors are able to focus on individuals who need even more intensive help.”

Eddington said the experience of teaching others helps her be a better learner as well.

“Like my history professor said, you’ve got to understand the material well enough to explain it to someone else,” Eddington said. “It’s very satisfying to see that look of realization when the other person finally gets it. I think that’s one of the reasons tutoring one-on-one is so satisfying.”

For additional information about the program, call 682-7865 or visit the TRiO office in room 1T7 on the first floor of the Main Building.