Office of Special Programs celebrated National TRIO & GEAR UP Day

In February 1986, a congressional resolution declared that Saturday, Feb. 28, 1986, should be designated as “National TRIO Day” to commemorate the annual achievement of the federal TRIO programs in communities across the country.

With a long history of 50 years, and an impressive portfolio of 10 TRIO programs, the Office of Special Programs (OSP) marked the whole month of February for celebrating the accomplishments of TRIO and GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) at Wichita State and the larger community.

The 10 programs offered by OSP:

  • The Communication Upward Bound
  • Talent Search and Talents Search South
  • Upward Bound Wichita Prep
  • Upward Bound Math Science
  • Disability Support Services
  • Student Support Services
  • McNair Scholars Program
  • Educational Opportunity Centers
  • Veterans Upward Bound
  • Partnership GEAR UP program and the state-wide Kansas Kids @ GEAR UP program

The TRIO and GEAR UP programs at WSU primarily serve first-generation and low-income students primarily in Wichita Public schools and state-wide school districts. The programs cover students from middle school through high school and college.

Under the leadership of Deltha Colvin, associate vice president of college readiness and retention programs, and the WSU program administrators, the OSP has celebrated in several ways, such as hosting workshops for students and teachers, student recognition banquets, College Access, Retention and Success conferences, and, since 2019, community services.

For 2022-23, the OSP program highlights have included several community service opportunities for the students. The Talent Search programs have decided to continue spreading reading and literacy by participating in the community library program in the Wichita neighborhoods. Participants of the Educational Opportunity Centers program along with the Upward Bound Wichita Prep program staff and students have actively participated in the Operation Holiday program, through which needy families receive assistance. The Veterans Upward Bound program participants have celebrated the TRIO cause by volunteering at the Lord’s Diner during 2022.

The Haysville GEAR UP program organized a National TRIO/GEAR UP Day on November 11, 2022. About 306 students participated. The event consisted of presentations by WSU offices such as admissions and financial aid. Activities included a campus tour, college resource fair and TRIO workshops.

The Student Support Services program has used this celebration to promote social justice, diversity, and equity through retention through various student activities.

For more information, contact Colvin at