College doesn’t come easily for everyone. Each student struggles with something at sometime during their college career, and that’s where the TRIO: Student Support Services program can help. The Student Support Services program is a college retention program funded by a TRIO grant from the United States Department of Education.

TRiO Application


It’s simple. We want to help students earn a college degree. We do this by providing free services and assistance to support students as they work toward completing a college degree.



To receive services from TRIO: Student Support Services staff, students must meet one or more of the eligibility criteria listed below. In addition, all students must show academic need.

  • First Generation student, defined as neither of the student’s parents having received a four-year college degree prior to the date the student turned 18 years old
  • Low income household, determined by the federal income guidelines established by the United States Department of Education
  • Learning or Physical Disability, appropriately documented



If you want to receive assistance from TRIO: Student Support Services, getting involved is easy. Interested students need to complete the TRIO: Student Support Services application and meet with a TRIO advisor for a short interview. Staff will review the interview notes and completed application to determine eligibility for the TRIO: Student Support Services program. The program annually serves 175 students.

For more information, contact:

Peggy Poitra, Director of Student Support Services, 218-879-0803, Office W116

Kelly Bahen, Academic Advisor, 218-879-0806, Office W117

Courtney Edwards, Academic Advisor, 218-879-0872, Office W115

TRiO Application


The TRIO: Student Support Services program offers a comprehensive range of services that are important to college student success. From answering relatively simple questions to handling more complex issues, students are treated with respect by friendly staff members.

One of the most important benefits a student receives is academic advisement. Students participating in TRIO: Student Support Services have access to advisors specifically assigned to the students. Easy access to knowledgeable, experienced academic advisors is an important part of achieving student success. services provided by the program include:

  • Academic advisement
  • Professional tutoring
  • Transfer assistance to four-year institutions
  • Peer mentoring
  • Financial aid application assistance
  • Financial advising
  • Services for students with disabilities
  • Career goal-setting
  • Scholarships
  • Study skills development

The goal of federally funded Student Support Services projects is to increase the college retention and graduation rates of low-income, first-generation college students and students with disabilities, and facilitate their transition from one level of postsecondary education to the next. We do this very well at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College.



The TRIO: Student Support Services program provides opportunities for academic development, assists students with basic college requirements, and serves to motivate students towards the successful completion of their postsecondary education. Research indicates that the more assistance a student receives, the greater impact the help has on individual student success. That same research shows that students who participate in support activities achieve higher grade point averages and earn more college credits. It’s really a winning opportunity for students–free support services that will help them earn better grades and complete more classes.



While individual student success will vary according to many factors, utilizing the free services offered through the TRIO: Student Support Services program at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College provides resources, opportunities, and possibilities that are not always available. Using these services may lead to:

  • increased grade point average
  • quicker completion of accumulated credits
  • greater rate of student retention
  • more direct path to degree completion.

In some individual cases, the program may also provide grant aid to current participants who are receiving Federal Pell Grants.



College life can be stressful, so it’s important for students to balance college coursework with at least a little bit of fun. Over each school year, Student Support Services/PROP sponsors great events that mix social gatherings and fun to balance the rigors of college classes, tests and term papers. These activities help build lasting connections between students and staff, and offer opportunities that might be missed elsewhere. It’s just another part of providing a positive student experience at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College.

Activities change from year to year, here is a short list of typical events:

  • Concert and cultural event outings
  • Free soup lunches and bi-weekly discussion topics
  • Pumpkin carving and scarecrow building contest
  • Movie nights (family friendly)
  • Soft skill development seminars
  • Snow sculpture contest
  • Pool parties
  • Mentoring opportunities
  • Campus mailbox
  • Student of the Week honors



One of the best benefits we provide to students is the opportunity for supplemental instruction. Our professional tutors actually attend math and science classes, take notes, communicate with the faculty, and then conduct small group learning sessions to further discuss and explain subject material taught in the courses. If they desire, students can continue with individual tutoring on the subject material currently being taught in a course. Students choose to participate on a voluntary basis, and the supplemental instruction sessions are often fun, informal and relaxed. It’s a perfect way for students to access additional instruction on the course topics.

Research indicates that students who develop a peer learning network in college have greater success than students who do not. That’s exactly why we provide supplemental instruction, because it helps students succeed in college.

Additional benefits of supplemental instruction:

  • better preparation for exams
  • learn from your peers
  • comfortable situation to ask questions
  • increased grade point average
  • more in-depth learning and mastery of course topics
  • thorough understanding of assignments
  • fun, relaxed learning environment
  • build lasting friendships with other college students.

TRIO is a group of federally funded programs that provide access and support for higher education to those whom access has not traditionally existed. The Student Support Services (SSS) program is a college retention program funded by a TRIO grant from the U.S. Department of Education.


My favorite thing about FDLTCC is the people. I’ve met fantastic students, faculty and staff who go above and beyond what I expected.

It is awesome here at the FDLTCC Education Program because it is like a family here, if you need help or are struggling with anything, you have quite a few people who will help you out.

I chose FDLTCC because of its size and the curriculum. When I first came here in 2019, I was just looking for what I needed to volunteer, perhaps in a crisis shelter. I met with Don Jarvinen, and the rest is history.