Here on OCCC’s Campus, Student Support Services offers programs meant to assist high school students.

TRIO is a federally funded program that assists first-generation, low-income, and/or students with a disability. It is an umbrella program that originally started with three programs: Student Support Services, Upward Bound and Talent Search. 

“TRIO’s goal is basically to help them graduate, and then move on to the next level of education,” Crystal Mohamed, the director of OCCC’s TRIO program, told the Pioneer. 

Students who meet this criteria must be U.S Citizens or permanent residents to participate in TRIO. 

This federally funded program offers workshops on a variety of topics, tutoring, financial literacy, FAFSA assistance and assistance with admission applications. 

Mohamed stated she thinks the most effective way to increase student success is believing in students. She added spending one-on-one time with the student and engaging them with other students that are similar to them helps them.

“The most rewarding part of working for TRIO is just the success of students, and even the failures of the students. And I use the term ‘failure’ loosely, just because no student is a failure. That’s what’s rewarding for me, just seeing the tears and then the smiles that come after. Seeing the frustration, and then the happiness that comes after,” Mohamed said.

TRIO offers what they call a “borrowing system” where participants can check out textbooks and laptops. They also have their own academic advisor, Mary Turner, who is available to speak with students about your degree plans and help particpants select appropriate courses for the following terms.

As director of the program, Mohamed, works closely with different departments on campus to make sure they have support to help TRIO students. Not only does TRIO coordinate with different departments on campus, but they also connect with universities in the surrounding area. 

Students accepted to the program make a commitment to TRIO. They allow TRIO to have access to their academic grades and transcripts. Students are also required to participate in the program by attending at least one or two workshops. 

Participants must also meet with TRIO’s academic advisor, Mary Turner, at least once a term to make sure they’re on the right track. Another responsibility students have is completing their FAFSA every school year. 

The TRIO staff also encourages their members to check in with them. 

“We’re kind of the home away from home for students, we want to know what’s going on with the student, we ask that they keep us apprised of what’s going on in their life,” Mohamed says.

Students can apply to the TRIO program year-round. They are currently accepting applications and seeking new participants. The application is available online at 

The TRIO office is located on the second floor of the main building. Their office number is 2N4. Their phone number is (405) 682-7865. 

Crystal Mohamed. Courtesy photo

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