College reimagined
in your community.

Trio is helping communities across the country launch innovative, low-cost, flexible degree programs.

Our work so far

Our progress

Trio wins Catalyze Challenge grant to re-imagine career-connected higher education
Trio awarded Gates Foundation national scaling grant
Harvard hybrid college outcomes study shows breakthrough results

A new model for college

The current higher education system too often fails the students most in need. The hybrid college is an emerging model that has delivered breakthrough results in early-adopting cities. ​Trio is building a network of hybrid college sites led by community members.

An online curriculum

Unparalleled flexibility. Hybrid college students attempt projects based on real-world skills until they master them, can work on their own schedule, and graduate as fast as they work.

Paired with in-person support

Students get a dedicated coach to help them through academics, career, and life. A study space is available with a student community and supports like transportation and childcare.

An online curriculum

No lectures, tests, or grades. Hybrid college students attempt projects based on real-world skills until they master them, can work on their own schedule, and graduate as fast as they work.

Paired with in-person support

Students get a dedicated coach that helps them through academics, career, and life. An in-person study space is available with supports including laptops, transportation, and childcare.

What we do

We believe everyone should have access to the future of higher education. Trio partners with communities to help them launch local hybrid college sites, deliver groundbreaking student outcomes, and learn from a network of sites across the country.
Our approach

Partner

with local champions in interested communities

Recruit

an emerging local leader to direct the future site

Train

the leader as a Trio Fellow on best practices

Launch

a new site with a unique brand and strategy

Grow

the site to serve students and join the Trio Network

Innovation with proven results

2x

graduation rates

1/2

cost of college

Eliminates

racial completion gap

Students have experienced breakthrough results in both college and career at the longest-running hybrid college located in Boston. The model has the potential to continue delivering change for low-income, first-generation, underrepresented students across the country.

Source: College Re-Imagined: Can a new model help close higher education's equity gap? (Harvard Rappaport Institute, 2021)

Innovation with proven results

This hybrid college model has achieved graduation rates more than twice the [state] average, cut the cost of college in half, and eliminated race-based college completion disparities.

Harvard Rappaport Institute,
2021 study
Students have experienced breakthrough results in both college and career at the longest-running hybrid college located in Boston. The model has the potential to continue delivering change for low-income, first-generation, underrepresented students across the country.

See it in action

What does our work look like on the ground? Check out the launch video for the Detroit site, featuring Trio Fellow Danielle North!

What people are saying

"I tried three colleges which weren't the right fit for me, but with the support from my academic coach, I know that Degree Forward works! I've learned that it's not about how or when you've started, it's about how you finish."

India
Student at Degree Forward (Detroit site)

By offering a flexible, affordable education through Gateway U that prepares our families for a meaningful career, we are creating a brighter future for Newark’s young people.”

Nichelle Holder
Local Leader at Gateway U (Newark site)
CPO at South Ward Promise Neighborhood

Degree Forward is a critical new piece of Detroit’s talent infrastructure, introducing a proven model to enable adults who have stopped-out of college return to earn degrees and contribute their skills to the regional economy.”

Doug Ross
Board member at Degree Forward (Detroit site)
Partner at Diploma Equity Project

Having post-secondary pathways like Gateway U that are affordable, flexible, and directly connected to jobs will ensure that all young people have the chance to be successful.”

Robert Clark
Local Leader at Gateway U (Newark site)
CEO of Newark Opportunity Youth Network

In the news

Flashpoint Interview: Education leaders discuss accelerated, affordable college degree program

A college degree in one year for only $7,000? That seems way too good to be true -- but it’s not. Flashpoint host Devin Scillian sat down with Danielle North... Watch now

Newark nonprofit launches ‘hybrid college’ with SNHU

Newark’s South Ward Promise Neighborhood established Gateway U, New Jersey’s first hybrid college, offering students a flexible path to an online degree through Southern New Hampshire University. Newark native Saymah Nah is the  executive director... Read more

Hybrid college degree completion program launches in Detroit

A newly formed nonprofit organization in Detroit is partnering with Southern New Hampshire University to create a pathway for working adults in Southeast Michigan to obtain a college degree without... Read more

Newark’s South Ward Promise Neighborhood launches hybrid college through SNHU

“As a Newark native, I am personally invested in developing our city and our people,” said Saymah Nah, executive director of Gateway U... Read more

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