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Upward Bound student Kiersten Johnson on a tour or the UTA campus and Smart Hospital
A week-long national celebration will begin Monday, Feb. 18, lasting through Sat., Feb. 23, that will highlight the activities and accomplishments of students in Talent Search, Student Support Services and Upward Bound programs, parts of the federally-funded TRIO Program.
Sammie Stults will be among those celebrating. Now enrolled in a graduate program at Tarleton State University, earning her master’s degree in management and leadership, she’s there, Stults says, because of such programs.
“I don’t know where to begin describing SSS’s positive impact on my school career and on my life,” said Stults. “SSS instilled a level of motivation in me that makes me constantly want to work hard in school… and how to set goals and techniques to reach them. It’s because of the academic discipline that I learned from SSS that I was accepted into this graduate program.”
TRIO is a set of federally-funded college opportunity programs that support students from disadvantaged backgrounds in their pursuit of a college degree and into a better career path.
Stults isn’t the only one who has benefited from TRIO programs. More than 790,000 low-income, first-generation students and students with disabilities, from sixth grade through adulthood, are served by more than 2,800 programs nationally.
Currently, 626 students in seven counties – Parker, Palo Pinto, Jack, Wise, Johnson, Tarrant and Hood – are being served by SSS, Talent Search and Upward Bound through WC’s program.
“We push every student to do their best,” said John Turntine, WC director of Talent Search. “It’s a collaboration among the program itself, the students and their parents.”
National TRIO Recognition Day was designated by concurrent resolution on February 24, 1986, by the 99th Congress. It is celebrated the last Saturday of February each year as a day of recognition for the Federal TRIO programs.
TRIO programs were established over 30 years ago to assist income-eligible, first generation students in overcoming class, social and cultural barriers to higher education. TRIO began with just three programs and has grown to now consist of Educational Talent Search, Upward Bound, Upward Bound Math/Science, Veterans Upward Bound, Student Support Services, Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program and Educational Opportunity Centers.
“TRIO programs are a vital part of education in our country,” said Dawn Kahlden, who heads WC’s SSS program. “More than 790,000 students are given motivation, career guidance, academic counseling and cultural exposure each year. And, due to a lack of funding, we probably miss serving an equal number of those who do qualify.”
MORE ABOUT TRIO PROGRAMS:
The Talent Search program identifies and assists individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds who have the potential to succeed in higher education. The program provides academic, career and financial counseling to its participants and encourages them to graduate from high school and continue on to the postsecondary school of their choice. Talent Search also serves high school dropouts by encouraging them to reenter the educational system and complete their education. The goal of Talent Search is to increase the number of youth from disadvantaged backgrounds who complete high school and enroll in the postsecondary education institution of their choice.
The WC Talent Search program serves 493 students from Parker, Palo Pinto, Wise and Jack Counties.
Weatherford College Talent Search Program director, John Turtine, 817-598-6482.
Upward Bound provides fundamental support to participants in their preparation for college entrance. The program provides opportunities for participants to succeed in pre-college performance and ultimately in higher education pursuits. Upward Bound serves high school students from low-income families, high school students from families in which neither parent holds a bachelor’s degree, and low-income, first-generation military veterans who are preparing to enter postsecondary education. The goal of Upward Bound is to increase the rates at which participants enroll in and graduate from institutions of postsecondary education. All Upward Bound projects must provide instruction in math, laboratory science, composition, literature and foreign language.
WC Upward Bound program currently serves 55 students from Millsap, Springtown, Mineral Wells, Gordon, and Graford High Schools.
Weatherford College Upward Bound Program director, Jeff Kahlden, 817-598-6485.
The Student Support Services (SSS) program provides opportunities for academic development, assists students with basic college requirements and serves to motivate students toward the successful completion of their postsecondary education. The SSS program may also provide grant aid to current SSS participants who are receiving Federal Pell Grants. The goal of SSS is to increase the college retention and graduation rates of its participants and facilitate the process of transition from one level of higher education to the next.
Weatherford College Student Support Services director, Dawn Kahlden, 817-598-6484.For more information, contact any of the WC TRIO directors or visit http://www.ed.gov/programs.