Tuesday, September 13, 2011

LCSC program renewed to provide services to area schools

Lewis-Clark State College’s Clearwater Valley Educational Talent Search, a program that provides services to junior high and high school students to help prepare them for college in Lapwai, Kamiah, Kooskia and Orofino, recently had its grant renewed for $230,000 to continue the program for another five years through 2016.

LCSC started the Clearwater Valley Educational Talent Search and the Lewis-Clark Valley Talent Search in 2006. Federal TRIO programs are outreach and student service programs designed to identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. TRIO  is a suite of eight programs, including Talent Search, that are targeted to serve and assist low-income individuals, first generation college students, and individuals with disabilities through the academic pipeline from middle school to post-baccalaureate 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 these individuals and encourages them to stay in school, earn a high school degree, and continue on to college.

The Clearwater Valley ETS program has two educational advisors who work with the school districts in the four towns, and someone is at one of the schools at least twice a week. Although the grant is through LCSC, the goal is to get these students to attend any college, not specifically LCSC.

The Clearwater Valley ETS program helps students with studying skills, tutoring, career development activities, funding for field trips, ACT/SAT preparation, college campus visits, time management/organization skills, goal-setting, academic advice, self-esteem building, and assistance with forms for college admission, financial aid, and scholarships.
For the past four academic school years, the program has served more than 600 students. In 2007-08, the program helped 131 high school graduates, of which 127 applied for and 98 registered for college. The numbers have been similar during the last three years.

Traci Birdsell, LCSC’s Director of the Clearwater Valley ETS, says the program has been an asset to both the students and the schools. She states that having a Talent Search educational advisor at a school is like having a second counselor there to help students on career choices, studying for the ACT exams, and focusing on colleges.

“We’ve had students who started out as seventh graders who are now seniors and you can really see the changes,” Birdsell said. “There is more of a community feel to it. We have siblings now involved so we’re excited to be able to offer this program for another five years.”

Evelyn Carter is the LCSC educational advisor for the Orofino area, and is at the high school Mondays and Tuesdays.

The grant for Lewis-Clark Valley ETS program was not renewed.

For more information on the Clearwater Valley ETS program or TRIO at LCSC, contact Birdsell at either tbirdsel@lcsc.edu or call (208) 792-2848.

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