About TRIO

The Office of TRIO programs currently houses Student Support Services (SSS) Classic, SSS STEM-Health Sciences, and the Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program. These federally funded programs serve undergraduate students who are first-generation, low-income, students with disabilities (SSS), and/or Black/African American, Hispanic/Latinx, Indigenous, or Pacific Islander students (McNair only).

Student Support Services Classic and STEM-Health Sciences provide students with academic advising and course selections, financial aid assistance, financial literacy, tutoring, graduate school visits, and other services.

The Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program is designed to prepare undergraduate students for doctoral studies.

This office also engages and supports new students that were in Talent Search, Upward Bound, or SSS for a seamless transition into UNC Greensboro.

UNCG-McNair Scholars Program

Designed to prepare undergraduate students for the pursuit of a Ph.D., the UNCG-McNair Scholars Program (UNCG-McNair) provides 25 UNCG undergraduate students with opportunities to complete research with faculty mentors, attend the UNCG-McNair Summer Research Institute, explore graduate school options, and prepare for graduate-level studies. Ultimately, the goal of UNCG-McNair – and all Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement Programs – is to diversify faculty demographics across the nation by providing experience and training to students typically underrepresented in the academy. UNCG-McNair is a federal TRIO program funded by the U.S. Department of Education. 

As part of the Forney Student Success Commons, the UNCG-McNair Scholars Program provides academic support and programming from knowledgeable staff who engage you in maximizing your potential. As you develop your research interests with faculty mentors, you receive a variety of benefits and services to prepare you for graduate programs in your chosen fields of study.

Highlights of the UNCG-McNair Experience:

  • Faculty mentorship.
  • Enrollment in an Interdisciplinary Honors Research Methodology Course.
  • An 8-week McNair Summer Research Institute. 
  • Interactive workshops, seminars, and colloquia. 
  • Opportunities to present research projects at state, regional, and national conferences. 
  • Graduate school tours.
  • GRE preparation courses; Personal Statement preparation courses; graduate school application assistance.
  • Cultural events and activities. 
  • Opportunities for personal and academic development.
  • Financial planning for graduate school success.
  • Professional and academic conferences.
  • An empowering and supportive community.
  • Summer Research Internships including stipends.

To qualify for UNCG-McNair, you must:

  • Be a first-generation college student [neither biological or adoptive parent(s) have a 4-year college degree] AND come from a low-income family (based on Dept. of Education’s Income Guidelines).

OR, be a member of a group that is traditionally under-represented in graduate studies (African-American, Hispanic/Latino, Alaskan Native/American Indian, or Pacific Islander).

In addition, UNCG-McNair candidates must also:

  • Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.
  • Be enrolled as a full-time student at UNCG, have completed at least 60 credit hours (Junior Classification), and have an anticipated graduation date of December 2023 or later.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

Applications to be a UNCG-McNair Scholar are now open! [link]

Nominate a student to be a McNair Scholar! [Link]

Faculty Recommendation Form [Link]

Sophomore Year 

Fall: Apply & Interview to join UNCG-McNair.

Accepted applicants attend Induction.Create a graduate school plan with the help of faculty and UNCG-McNair staff.Assess needs with UNCG-McNair staff.
Spring: Attend UNCG-McNair colloquia.
Attend UNCG-McNair workshops.Begin to develop research interests and research questions.
Summer: Attend UNCG-McNair workshops.

Visit potential graduate school programs with UNCG-McNair cohort & staff.

Junior Year

Fall: If joining as a junior, same as above, plus:

Identify and narrow research interests.Identify a UNCG faculty mentor.
Spring: Enroll in Interdisciplinary Research Methods Course (3 credit hours).
Attend graduate school fair & a research enrichment experience.Take a GRE practice test.Finalize summer research/internship plans.Attend UNCG-McNair colloquia, workshops, social, & cultural events.
Summer: Enroll in UNCG-McNair Summer Research Institute.

Compose personal statements; request faculty recommendation letters.Continue GRE test preparation.Visit potential graduate school programs with UNCG-McNair cohort & staff.Present research at McNair symposia or other research conferences.

By End of Senior Year, You will Have:

  • Completed and presented your research project at a regional and/or national conference.
  • Finalized your list of graduate schools and traveled to visit your preferred schools.
  • Completed the GRE and all of your graduate school applications.
  • Graduated from UNCG!

The UNCG-McNair Scholars Program is excited to work closely with UNCG faculty, administrators, and staff to support our students’ pursuit of higher education. There are a number of ways to engage UNCG-McNair Scholars and help identify students that may be interested in participating in the program. UNCG faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and doctoral students play an integral role in the overall success of the UNCG-McNair program and in the pursuit of graduate education by our students. If you are interested in acting as a faculty mentor, panelist, workshop presenter, or guest lecturer, please let us know by completing the UNCG-McNair Faculty Mentor form.

Student Support Services (SSS)

Student Support Services is a TRIO support program designed to maximize academic performance for UNCG students who are first-generation college students from modest income backgrounds based on U.S. Department of Education guidelines, or who have a documented disability registered with OARS, and demonstrate academic need for services.

  • Individual instruction and development of academic skills.
  • Personalized academic counseling, financial aid literacy, graduate/professional school guidance, and career coaching.
  • One-on-one tutoring in up to two courses each semester.
  • Peer mentoring, college success/life skill workshops, designated technology center with free printing, cultural enrichment opportunities, community service opportunities.

The goal of UNCG’s SSS programs is to support students throughout college and beyond and to help students make the transition from one level of education to the next.

SSS Classic serves 210 undergraduate students in all majors and at all levels.SSS STEM-Health Sciences (STEM-H) serves 120 undergraduate students in majors including: Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Computer Science, Geography Environment and Sustainability, Human Development and Family Studies, Information Systems, Kinesiology, Math, Nutrition, Physics, Pre-Health/Pre-Nursing, and Public Health.

Apply to the SSS programs and receive confirmation of acceptance to take advantage of services in SSS Classic or SSS STEM-H. Click on the “New SSS Application” to the left to apply for either SSS program!

  • First generation student– neither biological or adoptive parents have a bachelors degree.
  • Modest Income – as determined by the Dept. of Education.
  • Disabled – disability or disabling condition that is documented with the Office of Accessibility Resources & Services (OARS).


College is a time of constant transition. In navigating through the university experience, all students can benefit from advising. This component of SSS focuses on academics, career planning, mental health, and personal advising.

How SSS can help:

  • Individual Advising and Educational Planning.
  • Informational Group Sessions.
  • Peer Mentors.
  • Career Assessments.
  • Graduate/Professional School Guidance.
  • Graduate/Professional School Trips.

Academic Skills

As a member of Student Support Services, you can take advantage of the Academic Skills component to improve what you do both in and out of the classroom. We utilize various assessments to determine your personal strengths and challenges as a student. Academic Skills specialists are on hand to interpret assessment results and work one-on-one with you to develop skills and produce effective results.

SSS can help students:

  • Budget their time.
  • Improve note-taking skills.
  • Increase reading comprehension.
  • Develop more effective study techniques for all types of course material.
  • Prepare for tests and overcome test anxiety.
  • Develop writing skills and research proficiency.
  • Prepare for graduate/professional school applications and tests.


Whether you are looking to deepen your understanding in a subject, are concerned about your grades in a particular course, or are looking for a peer to support you in your learning process, SSS Tutoring Services is here to support you. Our team of peer tutors facilitates individualized (one on one) tutoring sessions with any student within SSS.

  • Accounting 201, 202
  • American Sign Language 101, 102, 203, 204
  • Biology 105, 111, 112, 271, 277, 280
  • Chemistry 103, 104, 111, 205, 351, 352
  • Economics 201, 202, 250
  • French 101, 102, 203, 204
  • Geography 103
  • Kinesiology 291
  • Math 112, 115, 120, 190, 191
  • Nutrition 213
  • Psychology 121, 211, 311
  • Spanish 101, 102, 203, 204
  • Specialized Education Services 101, 102, 203, 204
  • Statistics 108

We employ a wide range of students from various backgrounds and experience levels.  We are currently accepting applications for peer tutors in all disciplines. If you’re interested in becoming a peer tutor, please email Melissa Lore – mnlore@uncg.edu.


Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) is a national initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Education with the  goal of preparing students to enter and succeed in college.

The UNC System was awarded over $4 million for the 7-year grant in 2019 to provide GEAR UP services. UNCG is one of five 4-year institutions from the UNC System to partner with GEAR UP North Carolina in implementing this initiative. 

Here at UNCG, GEAR UP provides academic coaching for students to achieve their academic and personal goals. GEAR UP students also have the opportunity to build relationships with other program participants and engage with campus activities and resources.


The federal goal of GEAR UP is to significantly increase the number of students in disadvantaged communities who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. On a federal level, GEAR UP has three program objectives:

  • To increase the academic performance and preparation for postsecondary education of participating students;
  • To increase the rate of high school graduation and participation in postsecondary education of participating students; and
  • To increase educational expectations for participating students and increase student and family knowledge of postsecondary education options, preparation, and financing.

GEAR UP NC partners with the College Foundation of North Carolina for statewide dissemination of college information. GEAR UP NC is included in the University of North Carolina System Higher Expectations Strategic Plan as a strategy for promoting and improving access to higher education in North Carolina.


  • Anson High School
  • Burns High School
  • Central Montgomery High School
  • Dalton L. McMichael High School
  • Gates High School
  • Graham High School
  • Harnett Central High School
  • Hoke High School
  • Hugh Cummings High School
  • John A. Holmes High School
  • John M. Morehead High School
  • Jones Senior High School
  • Kinston High School
  • Lenoir Early College High School
  • McDowell High School
  • North Lenoir High School
  • North Stanley High School
  • Pamlico County High School
  • Parkland High School
  • Pasquotank High School
  • Perquimans County High School
  • Person County High School
  • Reidsville High School
  • Richmond High School
  • Scotland Early College High School
  • Scotland High School
  • South Lenoir High School
  • South View High School
  • Walter Williams High School
  • Warren County High School
  • Warren Early College High School
  • Warren New Tech High School
  • Washington High School
  • West Craven High School

GEAR UP provides one-on-one coaching sessions for all eligible students. Students who are a part of GEAR UP also have the opportunity to build relationships with fellow GEAR UP students as well as engage in campus activities and resources.

The number of coaching sessions depends on the needs of the student. Students are able to set recurring sessions with their coach or make appointments as needed throughout the academic year. Your coach will be sure to make frequent contact with you often.

Each coaching session will differ depending on the needs of the student. However, each session will include collaboration from both student and coach to develop plans to stay on track of achieving academic goals for the student. The coach will also be a resource for navigating challenges and referring students to appropriate campus resources. 

Coaches are trained to assist in identifying resources that will be useful for you as students. During sessions, your coach will refer you to the most beneficial resources to assist you.

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