Higher education institutions have two million fewer students now than they did in 2009. Despite an increased push by high schools in tracking students into advanced placement and college prep classes, the amount of students going directly into college is declining. This presents a generational challenge for those students coming from homes where neither parent completes their degree. These “first-generation” college students must often learn how to navigate the complicated demands of college.

Thomas Nelson Community College is participating in the TRiO program, a federally funded initiative that assists first generation and former foster care students with tutoring, mentoring, career advisement and time management skills.

This week, Educationally Speaking discusses the TRiO initiative with Monica Pinier, a counselor at Thomas Nelson, and Antonio Dill-Word, a recent TNCC graduate and participant in the program.

Educationally Speaking is heard weekdays at 11:04 a.m. on 89.5 WHRV.