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Elliot Center

Our History


TRIO started with President Johnson’s 1964 economic opportunity legislation. TRIO along with Head Start, AmeriCorps and VISTA, Legal Services, Community Action Centers, GED and Job Corps were a part of his “Great Society” vision.

TRIO is nationally recognized, funding is competitive, requiring a successful proposal to the U.S. Department of Education every five years. There were originally 3 TRIO programs; there are now 8 but we still use the term TRIO. The original TRIO programs support access and success in college. Newer programs include job training and adult basic education. TRIO works with middle and high school students, college students, graduate students, and adults.

In FY23, TRIO programs consisting of $1.2 billion in grants supported over 800,000 students with college access and success services. At KSC, we have 4 TRIO grants (Student Support Services, Student Support Services - STEM, Upward Bound, and Upward Bound Math-Science) which bring over 1 million dollars annually to campus to support students to reach their academic and personal potential.


Aspire, known nationally as Student Support Services, has been at KSC since the 1980s. In the fall of 2020, we were awarded a Student Support Services - STEM grant. Aspire works with students who are from moderate income backgrounds, or are first in their family to earn a 4-year bachelor’s degree, or have a documented disability. Aspire is a blended model, meaning the grant funds provide services to a cohort of students, and KSC offers additional funds so that Aspire can serve all students.

Aspire is housed in the Elliot Center, the student services building. It is located on the first floor in an attractive suite of offices with a reception area. The Office of Disability Services is adjacently located, and in close proximity are Academic and Career Advising, Student Financial Services, and Admissions.

Aspire staff take pride in the relationships built with students during their time at KSC. Aspire staff provide students proactive advising to develop a clear vision of students’ goals, guide students in connecting daily action to long-term goals, build students skills, and together they anticipate & address challenges.

Additionally, students can receive: • Academic Support • Individualized and small group peer tutoring • Financial aid and financial literacy information • Scholarship search assistance • Graduate school advising and GRE preparation • Peer Mentoring • Study Nights • Links

Upward Bound Programs

Upward Bound has been at KSC since 1978*. In the fall of 2017 we were awarded an Upward Bound Math/Science grant. Our Upward Bound Programs are college preparatory programs serving 154 students from 12 local high schools. Upward Bound students are from moderate income backgrounds and/or are first generation college.

During the academic year, students meet regularly with a UBP educational counselor who supports them with academic classes, tutoring services, financial literacy, goal setting, and college and career exploration. The educational counselor provides general support and advocacy for every student. Furthermore, the following targeted technical assistance is provided to juniors and seniors: career interest, college searches and admissions criteria, financial aid, scholarships, fee waivers for eligible students, and test preparation. The summer program is a 6-week residential experience which gives a taste of college life in a supervised and supportive environment. Students and staff live on campus for the duration of the program and go home on weekends. The program emphasizes academic enrichment, social development, personal growth, and responsibility for one’s behavior.

With the new emphasis on math and science, the program offers students the opportunity to engage in activities that expose them to areas of study within the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math. These activities include mentoring with KSC students & alumni and cooperative learning activities with KSC faculty, as well as industry experiences such as facility tours and career speakers. Although many students chose to attend KSC, the UB programs cannot engage in recruitment activities. The Upward Bound Program staff work with students and families to provide them with relevant information to level the “playing field” and to support their access to and success in higher education.

*In 1974 Upward Bound was first awarded to Windham College in Putney VT and in 1978 it was transferred to Keene State College.

Contact Aspire
Tel 603-358-2500
Fax 603-358-2937

The Aspire office is located on the first floor of the Elliot Center (map).