The TRIO Programs (TRIO) are federal grant programs that identify and provide services to underserved individuals and communities. TRIO’s mission is to work collaboratively with grantees and other entities to enhance educational opportunities for low-income, first-generation college students and individuals with disabilities. TRIO administers eight programs, the largest set of discretionary grant programs in the Department of Education with over 3,000 grant awards made annually. Through a competitive process, TRIO awards grants to institutions of higher education, public and private agencies and organizations, and in exceptional cases, secondary schools. TRIO then monitors and provides guidance to grantees to ensure successful project outcomes; provides technical assistance to grantees and potential applicants; and provides statistical information to internal users for decision-making, program improvement, and reporting.
CDS2 currently provides comprehensive logistical, event planning, and IT services for TRIO's grant programs. We assist TRIO in acquiring, printing, and prescreening grant applications, and our database professionals assist with data management and reporting. Our Conference and Events Management team also assists with the logistics of travel, hotels, and technical presentations for other events and workshops hosted by TRIO.
Our database team migrated TRIO’s grants management database application from Microsoft Access to a client-server database application using MS SQL Server 2000 and housed client interfaces. The team gathered business rules from the client, evaluated the database schema for usability practices, and developed a new architecture to simplify the business processes, which significantly enhanced the performance and security of the application. We maintain all databases according to ADA Section 508 standards, regularly provide on-site support and ad-hoc reports to enhance productivity and continuously improve the database, and provide user training and complete system documentation for each module upon completion of each grant competition. We have created and maintained over 30 grant competition databases using Access and SQL Server architecture, and this database application now serves as a template for a series of competition data management systems.