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Default page banner image for Tech Opportunities Program (TOP)
Default page banner image for Tech Opportunities Program (TOP)

Tech Opportunities Program (TOP)

Klamath Falls
TOP logo with three pictures of TOP students (one of a group on an overnight field trip, one of two brothers inside the "Power of First" Generation photo frame, and one of three graduating TOP students)

TOP: TRIO Student Support Services


Contact TOP

About TOP

Trio Logo

We power the potential of first-generation students, low-income students, and students with disabilities. Our dedicated staff provides services and support in the following areas:

  • One-on-one and group tutoring
  • Academic, career, and financial aid planning
  • Peer mentoring and networking with other students
  • College success classes, faculty-led sessions, and workshops
  • Assistance with applying for financial aid, scholarships, and grants
  • Community building and cultural events

Current TOP students:

  • Students will meet with their TOP Academic Specialists for regular advising appointments via phone, Zoom, text and e-mail.
  • Tutoring services will be provided by the Peer Consulting Center online via Zoom. Read more.
  • Peer mentoring will be provided to current TOP students via text, e-mail and Zoom.
  • Academic workshops will be delivered in a webinar and video format.
  • Extra-curricular social events will be conducted via social media. Detailed communication regarding these efforts will be sent to all current TOP students' e-mails.
  • All TOP staff is available to assist students during regular work hours, Monday - Friday from 8 am to 5 pm. Please use the contact section below reach out to any of the staff members.

Prospective/ Incoming students:

  • Please use the "Apply" button below to submit an application online.
  • Once submitted, our staff will contact your within a week to notify you of the next steps.
  • If you have any questions about your TOP application, please contact: Zach Jones at 541-885-1631 or

Applying to TOP

Students must qualify in ONE of the following categories:
  • Low Income: Your and your family's taxable income falls below the Department of Education's current low income levels.
  • First Generation: Neither of your parents or legal guardians have obtained a Bachelor's degree or higher.
  • Student with a disability: You have a documented physical or learning disability.


Students must demonstrate an academic need by meeting one of the criteria below:
  • High school GPA of 2.75 or below or
  • any SAT subtest score of 500 or below or
  • any ACT subtest score of 19 or below or
  • placement into any remedial course or
  • college cumulative GPA below 2.5, or below level needed to maintain any academic scholarship, or below major program requirements or
  • have not attended school for five years or more.
  • were former participants is a TRiO program
  • other

Note: The above list does not include all possible criteria. Other factors may apply and a student may be deemed eligible at the discretion of the Program Director. 

Additionally, students who meet two or more of the following criteria are eligible to apply:
  • deficits in computer literacy;
  • admitted to Oregon Tech as a special admit;
  • commute more than 12 miles round-trip to campus;
  • four or more withdrawals in the last 3 terms or 2 or more incomplete grades in the last 2 terms;
  • course completion ratio of 75% or less over the last 2 terms.
  • other
If you are not sure whether you qualify for TOP, please submit the application, and we will be glad to check your eligibility.

TOP's Mission

Provide services to Oregon Tech's Student Support Services (SSS) eligible participants to significantly increase their academic achievement, retention, and graduation rates.

This Student Support Services Project is federally funded at $247,294 annually. Our objectives for the 2015-2020 grant cycle are:

  1. Sixty-six percent (70%) of participants served by the SSS Project will persist from one academic year to beginning of the next academic year or graduate.
  2. Eight-five percent (85%) of all enrolled participants served will meet the performance level required to stay in good academic standing at OIT.
  3. Forty-five percent (45%) of new participants served each year graduated within six years.


TOP End of Year Reports

TOP 2020-2021 End of Year Report

TOP Services 

  • Comprehensive one-on-one academic, personal, and career advising.
  • One-on-one and small group tutoring services in conjunction with the Tutoring Center.
  • Varied workshops covering test-taking strategies, study skills, career selection, time management, money issues, etc.
  • Student Success Seminars (ACAD 207) specifically designed for TOP students.
  • Development of academic and personal goals.
  • Regular meetings/ongoing support with an Academic Specialist.
  • Midterm assessments completed each term by all TOP participants in their first year.
  • September Bridge Orientation to College Program for Residence Hall students.
  • Limited grant funding for qualified students.
  • Financial literacy skill development.
  • Comprehensive assessments (study skills inventory)
  • Development of Personal Success Plan
  • Orientation sessions to TOP Program
  • Study Lounge
  • Support with verifying a major, career exploration
  • Sense of community
  • Sense of academic competence

TOP's Support Services and Programs

Oregon Tech block logo above "Flight School" with airline-like wings and "Start Strong" in text
Klamath Falls

Flight School - Start Strong Bridge

Flight School - Start Strong is a week long program starting right before the academic term. The program is collaborative and brings together academics, Housing & Residence Life, Tech Opportunities Program (TOP/TRIO), and Student Involvement & Belonging to welcome students to campus and give them a variety of tools to navigate the academic year.

The Summer Bridge program is designed to help non-traditional and transfer students transition to Oregon Tech. This free program takes place just before the start of the fall term and offers a great opportunity to meet Oregon Tech faculty, staff and students.

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Klamath Falls

Student Success Seminars

Freshmen in TOP participate in a three-term student success seminar intended to foster their transition to Oregon Tech. The class is offered at no cost to students.

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Klamath Falls


We offer a wide variety of workshops on topics from financial literacy, study skills, and academics to career planning and professional development. We strive to offer at least one workshop a week throughout the academic year.

Owls' Worth Financial Literacy Program Logo with Hootie and a dollar sign
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Financial Literacy

TOP students can access money management, budgeting, and financial planning tools and tips through the Owls' Worth Program. Additionally, TOP students have free access to SALT, which provides financial tutorials, templates, and strategies tailored specifically for college students.
First Generation Student Celebration circular blue and yellow logo with text "Celebrate the Power of First" and the Oregon Tech block logo
All Locations

First Generation Student Celebrations

A first-generation college student is defined as a student whose parent(s)/legal guardian(s) have not completed a bachelor's degree. This means that you are the first in your family to attend a four-year college/university to attain a bachelor's degree. Being first-generation is a very proud accomplishment and we join the National First-Generation College Celebration on November 8th every year!

Meet TOP Graduates


Meet TOP Staff


Zach Jones

Zach Jones, Program Director

I help students power their potential by listening, guiding, opening doors, and promoting self-advocacy. As a first-generation college student and former TRIO student, I recognize firsthand the transformative power that TOP and programs like it possess in helping students achieve their personal and professional goals. So, I’m really excited to ‘pay it forward’ by continuing to support students throughout their journey here at Oregon Tech.

I have a bachelor’s degree in History from Western Oregon University and a master’s degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from Portland State University. Born and raised in Coos Bay, OR, in my free time, I love to play guitar, kayak the Klamath Basin, and explore southern Oregon with my partner, our dogs Wesley and Gabriel, and our pride joy- our son Summit. 

Claire Peterson

Claire Peterson, TOP Advisor

My goal as a TOP advisor is to empower students with the tools and resources they need in order to be successful , not only during their time as a student at Oregon Tech, but also as they enter the professional world upon graduation. Being a recent graduate myself, I understand many of the challenges and barriers that can stand in the way of being a successful student. Before working at Oregon Tech, I spent many years working in the fields of special education and behavioral therapy. Through this line of work, I came to the conclusion that I really love working with students one on one and that I am very passionate about working with people of all abilities. Through my position at TOP, I am able to build connections with students while also supporting them through their academic journey.

I began my college career at Klamath Community College where I completed the majority of my general education courses. I then transferred to Oregon Tech and recently graduated with a B.S. of Applied Psychology. I am considered a Klamath county native as I was born and raised in Merrill, OR. Growing up here, I have developed a real passion for the people that live here and all the amazing outdoor activities this area has to offer. When the weather permits it, you can typically find me outside gardening, fishing, hiking, camping, or mushroom hunting. On those snowy or rainy days I usually tend to stay inside curled up with a good book, watching the latest Marvel series, painting, or playing videogames.  

Oregon Institute of Technology is an EO/Title IX/504/ADA Institution

Oregon Institute of Technology does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, national origin, gender, religion, age, veteran status, disability, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation or gender identity in its programs and activities. Questions or concerns regarding Oregon Tech’s nondiscrimination policies should be directed to Dr. Jennifer Wilson, Executive Director of Diversity, Inclusion, and Cultural Engagement (email:, phone: 541.885.0182).