Chemeketa’s TRiO Talent Search and Mentor Project grant funds services to help 544 eligible students from North Salem and McKay high schools prepare for college each year. The project advisors also assist eligible eighth grade students from Houck, Parrish, Waldo and Stephens Middle Schools. The middle school program explores career interests, college programs, and prepares them to successfully transition to North Salem and McKay. The U.S. Department of Education has renewed funding for the program at $261,120 per year for the next five years. The Talent Search and Mentor Project is 100% federally funded.
“We’re grateful for the opportunity to continue to help students explore careers, overcome barriers and successfully progress in their education towards college,” said Susan McCaffrey, Chemeketa TRiO Talent Search and Mentor project coordinator.
TRiO Talent Search and Mentor staff will recruit students fall term from McKay and North Salem to participate in the program. Eighth grade students from the schools that feed into McKay and North Salem will be recruited in January for career exploration and help understanding how high school class choices and grades affect future opportunities. TRiO Talent Search students from the middle schools will continue receiving Talent Search and Mentor project services all through high school up until they access college.
The TRiO Talent Search and Mentor program serves schools with qualifying levels of –
- Low-income families
- Low levels of adult educational attainment
- High number of students taking more than four years to graduate
- Minimal access to rigorous courses
- Low college-going rates
- High student-to-counselor ratios
- Low state assessment test scores
The TRiO Talent Search and Mentor Project provides advising, mentoring and tutoring services to the schools and closely monitors student performance and progress. Students may receive supplemental tutoring, scheduling assistance and/or college and career exploration experiences. They also are supported in getting ready for college with assistance in obtaining financial aid, scholarships, help with college applications and college test preparation.
The Talent Search grant funds one coordinator position, two advising positions, adjunct instructors and part-time tutors at Chemeketa.