Our approach

Trio helps communities launch their own local hybrid colleges, then supports their growth.

We provide full incubation support to help sites launch successfully, and serve as a powerful shared national learning network to identify and scale best practices.

How we help

Hear directly from our first cohort of Fellows about how Trio has supported them, from training to recruitment and beyond.

A unique partnership

SNHU's unique competency-based education programs allow Trio students to maintain a flexible schedule that enables them to balance their education with other responsibilities, like work and family, while obtaining a highly affordable degree.

Students submit projects, receive feedback, and revise projects until they master them. There is no limit to how many credits students can earn in a term, which means they can graduate as fast as they work.

Locally led. Nationally linked.

We incubate and launch new sites into the Trio Network through a five-step process.

1. Partner

2. Recruit

3. Train

4. Launch

5. Grow


Trio introduces the hybrid community partner concept to civic and community leaders, K-12 and opportunity youth providers and regional funders in prioritized locales. Trio proceeds if suitable local champions emerge with interest in bringing a site to their community. Local champions and allies form a local Advisory Board to help steer the site.


Together with local partners, Trio recruits a Fellow to lead the potential site. We seek authentic, deeply-rooted emerging local leaders with a passion for the mission.


Trio conducts the Fellows' training program and provides materials for new hybrid college sites.

Fellows also attend an in-person residency at Duet, our hybrid college partner in Boston. Duet coaches and staff instruct our Fellows on best practices and invite them to shadow live coaching sessions.


Trio works with the Fellow and local partners to develop the launch plan, including:

  • Branding, website and marketing materials
  • Initial channel partnerships (e.g. K12 and opportunity youth serving nonprofits willing to refer students)
  • Initial student outreach & recruitment plans
  • Initial physical site
  • Initial multi-year budget
  • Pilot cohort of ~5 students before full launch


Once new sites are launched, Trio works with the Executive Director & local advisory board to set and achieve targets for quality, scale, & sustainability.

The Fellow becomes the site Executive Director, reporting to Trio & the local advisory board. The Fellow also maintains contact with the Duet team after launch. The site joins the Trio Network and has access to shared learnings from other Trio-launched sites and leaders.

Trio’s national operations group provides HR, budgeting, fundraising, branding, and recruiting support to ensure experience and efficiency at launch. Trio maintains the national Network of sites to facilitate shared success among Fellows.

Meet our sites

So what does it all look like?

Check out the hybrid colleges Trio has launched so far.
Our sites