Fordham’s advocacy for low-income and first-generation high school students will continue thanks to a five-year, $1.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education.
The University’s branch of the federal Talent Search/TRIO program will receive $360,613 for the first funding period, which runs from Sept. 1, 2011 to Aug. 31, 2012. The money will be used to assist roughly 800 low-income, first-generation students in Mount Vernon and Yonkers, N.Y.
Jorge A. Martinez Santiago, associate director of Talent Search/TRIO at Fordham, said the program, which has been at the University since 1985, is a valuable bridge to a college education.
“Without Talent Search, thousands of low-income, first-generation students across the country may never have considered going to college because they lacked the advice and guidance provided by the program,” he said.
Although Talent Search operates on an out-station basis in targeted schools, it utilizes Fordham’s campus resources when they are needed, according to Elliott S. Palais, Ed.D., director of TRIO programs at the University.
Those services include:
• academic advice and assistance in secondary school course selection;
• assistance in completing college admission and financial aid applications;
• assistance in preparing for college entrance examinations;
• guidance on secondary school re-entry or entry into programs that lead to a secondary school diploma or its equivalent;
• tutorial services; and
• exposure to college campuses, as well as to cultural events, academic programs and other sites and activities not usually available to disadvantaged youths.
The TRIO programs to assist high school students from disadvantaged backgrounds began as a program called Upward Bound, which was part of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964. Talent Search began operating in 1965, becoming the second such educational opportunity program. An initiative called Special Services for Disadvantaged Students joined the other two programs in 1968.
The acronym TRIO was coined shortly afterward as an umbrella term to describe all of these federal programs.