TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) Scholars Program

Julie Story, Ed.D.
117 Ulmer Hall, Lock Haven University
(570) 484-3847

Welcome to TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) Scholars Program at Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania.  President Lyndon B. Johnson started the TRIO programs in 1965 to increase students’ access to and graduation from 4-year institutions of higher education. These graduates increase not only their individual economic power, but also their family’s and the nation’s. Thus, the TRIO SSS Scholars Program’s primary objective is to promote the academic success of participants, leading to higher rates of good academic standing (2.0 grade point average or higher), retention (staying in college), and graduation. Lock Haven University is funded by the US Department of Education to serve 230 students who meet federal eligibility guidelines. Students who are selected for TRIO SSS Scholars receive assistance with all aspects of their college transition and gain valuable access to university life skills and resources that promote success. Faculty and staff from the TRIO SSS Scholars Program are involved in teaching, consulting, mentoring, and advising to address students’ needs.

Available ServicesPilobolus Group

Best Foot Forward (BFF) Summer Bridge Program

This 6-day on-campus BFF program—offered at no cost to participants—welcomes and orients freshmen right before the fall semester begins to set the stage for first-semester success. TRIO SSS Scholars faculty and staff, along with other campus and community leaders, facilitate a variety of activities on and off campus to help students with the challenging transition to college academically, technologically, financially, socially, culturally, and personally.  For detailed information, click on BFF Registration Information, Form, and Schedule on the side navigation bar.

Academic Year Component

For freshmen in the First Year Forward (FYF) structured first-year experience program, the seeds of success sown in the BFF Summer Bridge Program take root and grow through a fall orientation, first-year seminar, and two General Education courses with supplemental peer tutors. Tutoring and educational technology are also available to help students take English and Math courses required for graduation, which saves them time and money. Also, each student works with program faculty to design an Academic Achievement Plan (AAP) that highlights required and optional services that meet academic, career, financial, social, and personal needs—and the ultimate goals of good academic standing and graduation within four to six years. The AAP emphasizes that to remain in the program, students must actively participate.

To assist all students—freshmen through seniors—with meeting the goals of their AAPs, a variety of success workshops and other activities are offered in career planning, study skills, time management, learning styles, personal and professional development, study abroad, and community service, to name a few. The Director and faculty Writing Specialist serve as additional advisers for all students and make referrals to other resources. The Writing Specialist also works individually with students to improve their writing skills and offers diverse workshops on e-mail etiquette, social media, scholarship and graduate school applications, cover letters, resumes, etc.

The TRIO SSS personnel strongly encourage students to take advantage of the services offered through other offices, including University Tutorial Services, University Libraries, Disability Services, Center for Career and Professional Development, Financial Aid, Registrar, Scholarships, Student Affairs, Student Activities, Institute of International Studies/Study Abroad, Global MountainServe Center for Community Service,  Counseling Services, Health Services, HOPE Center, and the Center for Excellence and Inclusion.

Writing Specialist Services

The Writing Specialist assists all students with the transition to college-level writing, the assessment of their writing, and the improvement of writing skills at all stages of the writing process for assignments in courses. In addition to facilitating our students’ production of the SSS Scholars newsletter each semester, the Writing Specialist also works with students on scholarship applications, cover letters and resumes for internships and entry-level jobs, as well as personal statements for graduate school.

Financial Literacy Program

Each semester, TRIO SSS provides financial literacy workshops to help students learn more about money management, credit, spending patterns, credit scores, interest, budgeting, identity protection, and educational finance, such as the completion of FAFSA, state grant, and scholarship applications, the understanding of financial aid packages, the link between satisfactory academic progress and financial aid,  reduction of student loan debt, and choices for repayment of loans.

Grant Aid Program

First-year students who receive Pell Grant awards, earn a 2.5 Grade Point Average or higher, and who have been active participants in the TRIO SSS Program have the opportunity to apply for grant aid in the form of scholarships that are applied directly to their financial aid package. Upper division students with dire financial need and good academic standing of 2.5 or higher can also apply for grant aid.

Peer Mentor Program

The Peer Mentor program helps SSS Scholars with the transition to LHU and a range of other challenges from the time of enrollment through graduation. Successful upper division SSS Scholars interact with their peers individually and in small groups, providing support. With guidance and leadership, Peer Mentors show students how to connect with other students, faculty, and staff, as well as engage in activities and take advantage of services across campus and in the Lock Haven community.


Faculty mental health counselors and counseling intern are available to provide personal  support to SSS Scholars.

Social & Cultural Programs

Active SSS Scholars have the opportunity to participate in social and cultural activities throughout the year. Trip locations and events vary yearly, so participants must read the newsletter and pay attention to their emails in order to be aware of these opportunities.

Contact Us

Student Support Services

Writing Specialist

Dr. Rachel Epstein
126 Ulmer Hall
(570) 484-2324

Administrative assistant

Eveleen Parker
118 Ulmer Hall
(570) 484-2409 

Contact Our Admissions Office

8:00am to 4:00pm Monday-Friday
(570) 484-2027

Connect with Admissions Online

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