TRIO Programs

TRIO is a set of federal programs designed to help low-income Americans gain access to higher education, be successful during college and continue that success after graduation. These programs are funded through Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965. Learn more about the services available at CF and the eligibility requirements for these programs below.

Educational Opportunity Center

Get on Track Now for Educational Success

CF’s Educational Opportunity Center provides a wide variety of services for first generation college students from Citrus, Levy and Marion counties who meet certain income guidelines.

If you qualify for assistance from the EOC, you can get help to:

  • Learn what career field is best suited for you
  • Identify a college, vocational, career-specific or private school program that meets your needs
  • Set educational goals, whether you want to earn a two or four-year degree, vocational-technical degree, or high school equivalency diploma via General Educational Development testing
  • Enroll in any GED or vocational program
  • Navigate the admissions application process for a degree program at any college or university
  • Find money for your education, including grants and scholarships
  • Complete the college financial aid application (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)
  • Find educational assistance for yourself and your family members if you are a military veteran
  • Develop your basic personal and household money management skills

Start building the educational foundation you need for increased success. We have the resources to uncover your special abilities and skills, strengths, and areas that need improvement. You may be surprised to find out just how much you already know and how easy it can be to reach your goals.

Contact the Educational Opportunity Center

Ocala: Keith Bracey, Ocala Campus Coordinator
352-854-2322, ext. 1369 or

Citrus: Philip Geistfeld, Citrus Campus Coordinator
352-854-2322, ext. 6147 or

Levy: Vacant

Hampton: Dejuan Mills, Hampton Center Coordinator
352-854-2322, ext. 1801 or

Educational Talent Search

Educational Talent Search is a FREE, comprehensive program for 8th through 12th graders to help guide you through high school and into college or a vocational training program to pursue the career of your choice. Talent Search students discuss issues which include the importance of high school grades, study and test taking skills, career options, preparing for college entrance exams such as the ACT SAT or PLAN, and how to start preparing for college while still in high school.

As students’ progress through high school, Talent Search counselors work hand-in-hand with students to ensure that they are taking the courses necessary for high school graduation and college admission and assist students and their parents with completing college applications and financial aid forms. Talent Search counselors provide information on scholarships that are available both in Florida and nationwide. Each year, high school students have the option of going on tours of Florida college campuses.

North Central Florida Educational Talent Search counselors currently serve students at the following schools:

  • Levy County: Bronson
  • Marion County: Belleview, Dunnellon, North Marion, West Port

All students currently enrolled in one of the above listed schools are eligible to apply for enrollment in Educational Talent Search. Special consideration is given to students who are income-eligible and are potentially the first generation in their family to attend college. Students must demonstrate academic potential and have a desire to further their education after high school.

How to Apply: Applications are available with the Guidance Clerk at your high school. Simply complete the application and return it to your Guidance office.

Have questions about this program? Contact CF at 325-873-5800.

Student Support Services

The College of Central Florida Student Support Services is a federally funded program serving 227 students per year. It is designed to serve low income, first generation (neither parent received a bachelor’s degree) and disabled students. The program provides opportunities for academic development, assists students with basic college requirements, and serves to motivate students toward successful completion of their post secondary education. The goal of Student Support Services is to increase retention, graduate its participants and help students make the transition from one level of higher education to the next.

The program serves students seeking associate degrees, not vocational or certificate degrees. To be eligible to participate, a student must:

  • have a high school diploma or GED
  • be enrolled in classes at CF
  • be a U.S. citizen or resident alien
  • be a first generation college student, come from a low-income family, or have a physical and/or learning disability.

Eligibility Application

Services include:

  • academic advising
  • academic tutoring
  • advice and assistance in post secondary course selection
  • financial aid/scholarship advisement
  • career exploration and planning educational
  • counseling to improve financial and economic literacy
  • financial aid and financial literacy workshops
  • educational visits to four-year colleges and universities
  • social and cultural enrichment activities
  • assistance for students with physical and learning disabilities
  • Project Eagle, a unique summer bridge program

The Student Support Services program is committed to helping College of Central Florida students achieve their educational goals. By providing students with more direct and individualized services, the program increases the likelihood of student success.

Contact Student Support Services

Student Support Services
Lisa M. Smith – Director
Ext. 1243,

For A.S. Students
Julio Serna – Tutor Coordinator
Ext. 1258,

For A.A. Students
Willie Morris – Transfer Specialist Coordinator
Ext. 1677,