Mar 27, 2012
Humboldt State University has won a $10,000 award for its TRiO Talent Search college-entrance program, which aids Humboldt County pupils in grades six through 12. Talent Search is a long-term federal initiative that serves low-income youths across the country who are potential first-generation college students.
The $10,000 for HSU’s Talent Search Elective is one of only three such initiatives nationwide honored by the Council for Opportunity in Education. It is a Washington, D.C. nonprofit established in 1981to expand college opportunities for low-income, first-generation students and students with disabilities.
Humboldt State’s novel Elective was recognized for its excellence as a best practice in the field.
HSU Talent Search officials started the dual-credit Elective on a pilot basis in fall 2010 with 85 students at South Fork High School near Garberville and at Zoe Barnum High School in Eureka. It is a semester-long exercise for pupils who plan to attend college. While concurrently enrolled in a course offered by College of the Redwoods, students learn strategies to ensure academic success. Grades nine and 10 focus on study skills, personal awareness, self-assessment, career exploration and college preparation. Eleventh and twelfth graders center on SAT/ACT Test preparation, financial aid information, college selection and application.
Students who excel in the Elective are eligible for the Talent Search TRiO Ambassador Program, which enables them to travel to various locations to attend student leadership trainings and conferences.
Part of the $10,000 award will be used to support scholarships for specialized training and conference participation which Talent Search otherwise would be unable to fund. Another portion will finance college tours to introduce high school students to institutions of higher learning outside the Humboldt County area, according to HSU Talent Search Director Adrienne Colegrove-Raymond.
In tandem with the program’s second year at South Fork, the Elective is now in its first year with some 75 students at Hoopa Valley High School. Colegrove-Raymond said plans call for launches in fall 2012 for close to 100 youngsters at McKinleyville High School and 200-plus at Eureka High School.
Talent Search is one of three HSU programs that help to put North Coast middle school and high school students on the path to college, particularly youngsters from disadvantaged backgrounds who would be the first in their families to obtain a higher education.
Collectively, the three federal programs are nicknamed TRiO. Beside Talent Search, they are Upward Bound and Student Support Services, which serves college students.
All three are tailored to help young people overcome class, social and cultural barriers to higher education. The Council for Opportunity in Education advocates independently on behalf of the TRiO programs.
Congress established the programs in the 1960s. The Talent Search in-school initiative provides free services at each student’s school. Academic advisors visit regularly, and enrollees are introduced to Humboldt State and College of the Redwoods to get acquainted.
Talent Search serves 13 Humboldt County campuses, from Hoopa Valley High School and Trinity Valley Elementary School in the north to McKinleyville High, Arcata High and Eureka High in central Humboldt and South Fork and Fortuna High Schools in the south, among others.