Trio SSS logoTRiO programs were established as part of the federal “war on poverty” initiative to help low-income, first-generation college students or students with disabilities earn bachelor’s degrees. The programs aim to help students overcome cultural, social, academic, and class barriers to education.

SFCC’s program is called STEPS, or Students in TRiO for Educational Preparation and Success. It serves 160 students each year, and its goal is to help each student to successfully transfer to a four-year institution and earn a baccalaureate degree.


STEPS provides skills improvement, academic advising, financial aid and scholarship advising, career counseling, transfer counseling, personal counseling, workshops, campus visits to four-year colleges and universities, and cultural activities.

Qualifying for the Program

To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or legal resident seeking a baccalaureate degree and demonstrate academic need for services. Some ways to demonstrate academic need are: low placement scores, academic probation, performing below C level in a class, earning a D, F or W in a course that is required for graduation, or being an adult who is returning to school after more than five years.


You will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of campus activities and events throughout the year such as plays, art exhibits, concerts, and museum tours. Check out all TRiO activities in the Events box on the left.


The TRiO programs began under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965. In 1968 TRiO Student Support Services (SSS) was funded to form the third program, making a “TRiO” of federal programs.

In September 2000, the U.S. Department of Education awarded SFCC a five-year SSS grant to begin a STEPS program. In August 2010 the program was extended for five years and in August 2015 it was renewed for five more years.

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