WSU Tri-Cities’ TRiO program awarded $1.1 million DOE grant

RICHLAND, Wash. – The U.S. Department of Education recently awarded the Washington State University Tri-Cities’ TRiO Student Support Services program a five-year services grant for $1.1 million. The purpose of the grant is to provide institutions of higher education and thousands of students with academic and other support services they need to succeed in college.

Shiloh Penland
Shiloh Penland

The TRiO program helps increase the number of low-income college students, first-generation students and those with disabilities to successfully complete a program of study at the postsecondary level. The grant finances three staff members and part time tutors and mentors to offer one-on-one tutoring, counseling, advising, and mentoring through the cultural change of going to college. The staff also conducts student workshops on topics including study skills, note taking, financial aid, career preparation and financial literacy.

“We are thrilled the U.S. Department of Education renewed this grant for our program,” said Shiloh Penland, director of the TRiO program at WSU Tri-Cities. “This is a highly competitive grant and grantees essentially have to receive a perfect score to obtain funding.”

Last year, 38 TRiO program participants graduated with their bachelor’s degrees from WSU Tri-Cities. Penland says of the TRiO participants, “Students in our program graduate with job-ready skills and are positive contributors to the communities they live in.”

The U.S. Department of Education initially awarded the grant to WSU Tri-Cities TRiO program in 2010. Since then, 135 TRiO program participants graduated with bachelor’s degrees. The program is funded to serve 140 students yearly.

For more information about the WSU Tri-Cities TRiO program, go to


Shiloh Penland, program director, TRiO WSU Tri-Cities, 509-372-7389,

Jeffrey Dennison, director of marketing and communications, WSU Tri-Cities, 509-372-7319,