By Juwan Watson 

JU TRiO Student Support Services
Students in the TRiO Student Support Services programs at Jacksonville University and Edward Waters College recently explored graduate schools at Emory University, Georgia State University and the University of Georgia to help them with goal-setting as they plan for the next phase of their educations.

trioatlanta1small.jpgThe four-day tour that began Jan. 17 allowed students to see prestigious institutions while meeting professional graduate admissions staff, receiving career advice and strategizing master plans for transitioning into graduate school.
TRiO SSS is a federally funded support program designed to help disadvantaged students complete their bachelor’s degrees. The Atlanta trip provided a learning experience for JU’s TRiO students planning to enter graduate school after obtaining their bachelor’s degrees this spring. It also addressed misconceptions students might have had about applying for graduate school, and the “real” requirements for admission.
TRiO SSS works to ensure that its students who apply to graduate school exceed the minimum grade-point average of a 3.0 before they begin the rigorous admissions process.
In between touring the various campus communities, participants also visited the Georgia Aquarium. Students were amazed by the super-intelligent Beluga whales co-existing with microscopic plants, majestic sea creatures and the entertaining tropical fish dancing as living art. They also attended an interactive scientific research seminar at the aquarium, discovered the makings of authentic educational displays and found the hidden simulators behind every wildlife exhibit. The marine science information was especially relevant to students majoring in to trigonometry, marine biology and geometric sequences within chemistry.
Meanwhile, JU students obtaining bachelor's degrees in communications, psychology and business learned more about careers in radio broadcasting journalism, publishing magazines and producing television programs at the CNN Center.
While exploring the center, students learned the importance of editing film, processing journalistic research, managing marketing concepts and using legal aspects of public relations to “sell and tell” a solid story.
In the tradition of exposing students to multiculturalism, participants toured the Martin Luther King Junior National Historic Site. This experience allowed students to see an inspiring focal point for those working to ensure justice, equality and freedom for all Americans.
trioatlantasmall.jpgIn the midst of the educational experiences and cultural enrichment activities, students enjoyed soulful cuisine at Gladys Knight Chicken and Waffles. And for fun competition and learning the fundamentals of economic literacy, they explored Dave & Busters, the Mall of Georgia and Underground Atlanta. These venues exposed students to indicative strategizing, marketing products and capitalistic traps for minority consumers.


The purpose behind the graduate tour was to connect students’ personal and professional goals while exploring the next phase of their educational journey. The TRiO students are creating stronger networks while embracing new learning environments such as graduate school. They are being prepared to explore every facet of every opportunity, while ascending beyond their own expectations.trioatlanta4small.jpg

Students in JU’s TRiO Student Support Services program who took part in the trip included Andy Sainvil, Social Science major (Senior); Kwadwo Mensah, Business Management (Senior); Wisely Desire, Sports Management (Senior); Carl Saunders, Sports Management (Senior); James Thomas, History (Junior); EJ Snowden, Political Science (Junior); Wid Fignole,  Computer Science (Junior); Hank Farmer, Sports Management (Senior); Ariel Brown, Business Administration (Senior); Colby Walden, Geography (Junior);  Dominique Thomas, Psychology and Sociology (Senior); Jamal Coleman, Geography (Junior); Cyril Stubbs, History (Junior); AJ Journier, Sports Management (Junior); Chelsea Sanders, Psychology and Sociology (Sophomore), Darrell A. Smith, Computer Science (Senior); Lindsay Tropnas, Business Management (Senior); Ivy Hartley, Psychology (Senior); Sandria Vernon, Bio-Chemistry (Senior); and Abril Peeples, Management (Senior). Cherry Stallworth, Director of TRiO SSS, and Juwan Watson, JU TRiO Academic Retention Coordinator, led the trip. 
The TRiO Student Support Services Program is a federally funded academic support system designed to offer services to 140 students that meet one of three requirements: students who identify as first-generation, meet income guidelines set by the U.S. Department of Education and/or have a documented disability or physical disability registered in the Student Life Office. The program’s main goal is to increase the number of disadvantaged students in the United States to complete a bachelor’s degree program. TRiO assists them in becoming the best they can be. TRiO requires the full commitment of its students to the program.
For more on TRiO at Jacksonville University, visit