ECSU Chancellor Karrie Dixon gives the keynote speech during Thursday’s TRIO Conference at the K. E. White Center.
Making higher education accessible to all people has always been key to Elizabeth City State University’s mission, and so it would come as no surprise that an organization dedicated to giving low-income middle and high school students a shot at a university degree would gather at the K.E. White Center for a conference.
Educators from across the state found their way to ECSU for the TRIO Conference. ECSU’s Department of Special Programs hosted the event and Chancellor Karrie Dixon was the keynote speaker.
“The work that you do, if no one has thanked you, I’m going to thank you many times in this program,” Dr. Dixon said to a packed room Thursday, April 4.
TRIO stands for three distinct programs: Upward Bound, Talent Search, and Student Support Services. At ECSU, the Upward Bound and Student Support Services provide assistance to future and current students.
The Upward Bound Program provides support to high school students hoping to attend a university. Many ECSU students came through Upward Bound, including the Student Government Association President Chorn Poyner, who introduced Chancellor Dixon prior to her speech.
Student Support Services provides students with academic support and advising, tutoring, financial literacy education, career exploration, and much more.
The TRIO programs are federally funded college opportunity programs that support students from low-income backgrounds who have a desire to pursue university degrees. The programs provide tutoring, personal counseling, mentoring, financial guidance, and other supports necessary to pursue a degree.
Dr. Dixon observed during her speech that while ECSU is a statewide institution and an important part of the University of North Carolina System, the university does serve a specific 21-county region in Northeastern North Carolina, primarily consisting of Tier 1 counties – some of the poorest counties in the state. Programs such as TRIO provide students of those counties with prospect of social mobility through higher education.
“We work with programs like TRIO to bring those students to campus,” she said.
Dr. Dixon also credited the N.C. Promise Tuition Program with assisting those students and their families. In-state tuition is $500 per semester and out-of-state tuition is $2,500 per semester. As long as the North Carolina General Assembly keeps N.C. Promise alive, those students have a chance to afford a life-changing education, she said.
“Education is something that no one can take away from you,” said Dr. Dixon.
Programs for educators during Thursday’s conference covered topics such as, “Scores Open Doors to College & More,” “Meeting the Needs of Students Veterans,” and “Building a Legacy: Elevating Student Support Services in North Carolina.”
For more information about ECSU’s Upward Bound Program, contact Quay Dozier, Director of Special Programs, at 252-335-3368.