"Having your team review our project from an outside objective view allowed us to see the areas for improvement we might otherwise have neglected."
--Marc Coomer, Upward Bound, Yakima Valley Community College

Peer Monitoring of TRIO Programs Helps Find Ways to Save Money; Ensures Compliance with Federal Regulations

Introduction / How it Works /   Peer Monitor Training / One Program Director's Story Resources

     Few things bring a greater dread to a TRIO program director than knowing an auditor is coming to review her/his federally funded program. 
     "It can be scary," affirms Pat Clyde, director of the Lewis-Clark State College TRIO Programs. "Federal regulations governing grants that support these programs are numerous and can be interpreted in various ways." 
     So partly to give program directors a less scary "dry run," and partly to help veteran program directors share "best practices" with newer directors, the Northwest Association of Special Programs (NASP) launched a peer review option. 

A drop in federal reviews
     Another reason the Northwest Association of Special Programs (NASP) has trained peer monitors to perform site-visits in Region X is in response to a drop in the number of visits conducted by US Department of Education. NASP felt that the cut in site visits created a vacuum in which programs could be in danger of moving out of compliance, and thus lose funding. 
     During the two-day reviews, two to four experienced program directors meet with top college administrators and campus TRIO staffs and even with top college administrators to review record keeping, budgets, programs.
     "It's a great way to impress college administrators with the work we do, and it can be an valuable part of staff training," says Pat Clyde. "Also, we often are able to find ways to help program directors save money. In the process we all learn from each other about innovations and ways to streamline and improve our programs." 

Next: How the Program Works

Veteran TRIO Program directors Isabel Bond (left) and Pat Clyde team up to help evaluate another TRIO program. More

Pat Clyde, Director of Lewis-Clark State College's Student Support Services in Lewiston, Idaho, says peer reviews can improve programs and make real audits "less scary"

Lucia Loera, director of Washington State University TRIO Student Support Services requested a review just months after she assumed leadership. Her story

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