TRiO Student Support Services

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Wharton County Junior College's TRiO Student Support Services (SSS) program is designed to empower low-income, first-generation, and disabled students to excel academically and achieve their educational goals. With a dedicated team, technology resources, and personalized support, you will have everything you need to succeed in your academic journey at WCJC.

Find us at the J.M. Hodges Learning Center on the Wharton Campus, open Monday through Thursday from 7:30AM to 4:30PM, and Friday,  7:30AM to 4:00PM. Our friendly TRiO SSS staff is available to assist you both in-person and virtually during these hours.

TRiO Services

The TRiO SSS Grant is a five-year, renewable grant funded by the Department of Education. It aims to provide comprehensive academic support and personal development services for 144 eligible students, helping them achieve persistence and graduation rates that exceed those of the general student body.
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Course Selection and Advising

The TRiO SSS staff work as a family of advisors, guides, helpers, and friends throughout your time at WCJC. Each participant will receive personalized advising, including an individualized academic plan that helps you choose your classes. TRiO participants receive assistance with course selection to ensure priority registration, course preparation, long-term educational and professional goals, and timely graduation.
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Academic Support

If you need help with your coursework, our academic support leaders are here to help. We’ll help you develop your academic and study skills to support you throughout your academic career. Tutoring is also provided for courses that have been identified as “high risk” for SSS participants.
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FAFSA and Financial Literacy Services

As a TRiO participant, you'll have access to workshops that cover personal financial literacy, knowledge of markets and economics, and knowledge of higher education financing and repayment. TRiO staff will also help you complete financial aid applications and public and private scholarship applications.
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Graduation Assistance

TRiO SSS is committed to getting you to graduation. Our dedicated team will ensure that clear goals are set in order to motivate and encourage you to keep your eye on the goal of graduation and beyond.
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Transfer Assistance

TRiO SSS participants that would like to transfer from WCJC to a 4-year university will receive information as well as help determining which classes will transfer to the desired university. University transfer trips are scheduled by request through TRIO SSS each semester.

Apply for TRiO

To become a TRiO SSS participant, complete the application online or download the form and email the completed application to Elizabeth Argote at

Meet the TRiO SSS Staff

Our dedicated staff works as a close-knit team of advisors, guides, helpers, and friends committed to your academic success. Get to know the passionate professionals behind our TRiO SSS program:

Jessica Falcon

Project Director

Jessica Falcon is the TRiO SSS Project Director at the Wharton campus. She has been a full-time employee at WCJC since 2006. Jessica received her AA degree in Psychology from WCJC. She then continued her education at Liberty University and received her B.S. in Multidisciplinary Studies and her M.A. in Human Services with a concentration in Marriage and Family Therapy. Jessica is beyond excited that WCJC was awarded the TRiO SSS Grant and is passionate about helping students achieve their educational goals. 

Phone: (979) 532-6478


Shayna Guerra

Success Advisor/Coordinator

Shayna Guerra is the TRiO SSS Success Advisor/Coordinator. Shayna has been a full-time employee at WCJC since 2010. She received her A.A.S. Degree from Wharton County Junior College. She continued her education at the University of Houston-Victoria receiving a B.A.A.S. in Psychology followed by her M.Ed. in Higher Education and Administration at Texas Tech University. As a first-generation student herself, Shayna is excited about being able to use her own personal experiences while helping this unique group of students. 

Phone: (979) 532-6477


Elizabeth Argote

TRiO SSS Clerk

Elizabeth Argote is the TRiO SSS Clerk. Elizabeth has been with a full-time employee in TRiO at WCJC since 2016. She is currently in the process of completing her Associate’s Degree in Psychology. Elizabeth is also a first-generation college student and is also passionate about working closely with the TRiO population to help them reach their goals. 

Phone: (979) 532-6476




“TRiO” is not an acronym. Rather, it refers to the three original programs that were funded under Title IV of the Higher Education Act, Upward Bound (1964), Educational Talent Search (1965), and Special Services (later named Student Support Services, 1968). They were the first national college access and retention programs to address the serious social and cultural barriers to education in America.


TRiO Student Support Services is a comprehensive academic support program designed to increase the retention and graduation/transfer rates of eligible participants. TRiO SSS helps students develop the academic mindset and motivation necessary to be successful not only here at WCJC, but also in their future academic and professional endeavors. TRiO SSS is sponsored by WCJC and is funded by the U.S. Department of Education.


Because TRiO SSS is federally funded the eligibility criteria are stringent. Students must be:

  • Enrolled or accepted for enrollment and intent on completing their degree at WCJC and/or transferring to a 4-year institution;
  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident;
  • Have some level of academic need that could impact their ability to succeed; and
  • Meet at least one of the following:
    • Have a low family income as determined by federal guidelines, (view complete guidelines) ;
    • Be a first-generation college student (neither parent has a Bachelor’s degree); or
    • Have a documented disability and be registered with WCJC Disability Services

TRiO SSS is funded to serve only 144 students each year. Two-thirds of students must be low-income and first-generation college students or students with disabilities. One-third of disabled students must be low-income. Priority is given to students who are both low-income and first-generation college students. There is an application and screening/selection process.


TRiO SSS specifically serves low-income, first-generation college students and students with disabilities, because they are historically under-represented in higher education, and persist and graduate at a rate that is much lower than non-TRiO-eligible students. The program provides a wide variety of services, including but not limited to:

  • Advising for academic/other concerns
  • Financial aid and financial literacy information
  • Individual/Group tutoring
  • Major and career exploration
  • Exploration of/assistance with applying to 4-year institutions
  • Computer lab and free printing/copying
  • Use of Lending Library
  • Cultural events


Comprehensive services and individual attention set us apart because we serve 144 students, we can provide more attention to each participant.


Students are required to have a parent signature to verify first-generation status and are required to submit tax information along with their application. We will review your application and the Advisor/Coordinator will reach out via student email to let you know if you are eligible to receive services. Please allow 2-3 weeks for us to process your application. For more information, students may contact TRiO SSS staff at 979-532-6476 or visit the office in the JM Hodges Library TRiO Center.


No, students do not need to reapply each year.


To ensure students are getting the most from the TRiO SSS services offered, students must be willing to meet the following expectations:

  • Attend TRiO SSS Orientation at least once per academic year
  • Meet with a TRiO advisor at least two times per semester
  • Attend at least one social/cultural event per semester
  • Explore options and requirements for a major
  • Attend program workshops/activities either in person or virtually
  • Engage in tutoring or utilize online tutoring resources for courses as needed
  • Be committed to completing educational goals at WCJC within four years


Attend our new member orientation in the fall and Spring to learn more about Student Support Services at WCJC. 

  • Regularly check your student email as all SSS participants receive updates about upcoming SSS meetings and events. 
  • Join the TRiO SSS Club to get involved in community outreach events, fundraising, and engaging with other TRiO participants!