TRIO had its genesis in the Title IV Higher Education Act of 1965 which came about as a result of President Lyndon B. Johnson's "War on Poverty." The authorizing statute for the TRIO Programs provided that, in general, these programs were intended to identify qualified disadvantaged individuals, prepare these identified individuals for post-secondary education, provide special services for these qualified individuals who are currently pursuing post-secondary education, and train persons who were providing or would provide services under these various programs.
From Arkansas, John Phillips, Upward Bound Director at Philander Smith College, and Dr. Ted Elliott, Upward Bound Director at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, served as the leaders for AASAP's beginning in 1971. The primary purpose of AASAP was to improve communications between project directors and staff of student assistance programs in Arkansas.
Ida Moose was the first real politician from AASAP to join the national TRIO scene. She was one of the first members of the national Council for Education Opportunity Programs, which was the informal version of the National Council, our national body. Ms. Moose's involvement took her to Washington, D.C., in 1977 to lobby Education Opportunity Programs. She and Fred Oakley were the first representatives from Arkansas appointed by a SWASAP President to serve on the National Council.
Much of AASAP's history since 1991 has not been recorded but is yet to be told. The past in this organization is a torch that is held high so it can light the way for those who are new to TRIO as well as for those who will join the ranks in the future.
Credit to AASAP Historian, Alvin Anglin 1991