Talent Search Program Specifically targets potential students from disadvantaged backgrounds and offers them financial, academic and career counseling to help them finish high school and pursue post-secondary education.
There is no doubt that success in college begins at the secondary level, with proper course selection, stellar academic performance, and career focus during the high school years. However, students that come from disadvantaged backgrounds, or who have never had a family member attend college, face nearly insurmountable obstacles when preparing for the possibility of post-secondary education. To give some of these students a chance at a college degree, the Talent Search Program was born.
What is the Talent Search Program?
The Talent Search Program is designed to help disadvantaged youth who show the potential to succeed in postsecondary education. This program identifies youth that falls into this category and provides them with the financial, career and academic support they need to succeed in high school and beyond. Talent Search also looks for individuals who have not yet completed their secondary or post-secondary education and provides necessary resources to encourage those individuals to return to the world of academia to earn their high school equivalency and a postsecondary degree or certificate.
The programs offered through the Talent Search Program include:
- Aptitude assessments and counseling to prepare students for the rigors of college
- Mentoring and tutorial programs to come alongside students and help them succeed
- Counseling services to assist students with financial challenges that might arise
- Career exploration resources to help students plan for their futures
- Information about various postsecondary options available
- Alternative education options for those returning to finish their secondary education
These programs are all geared toward helping students succeed in their secondary efforts, but the primary focus is on getting these students into a postsecondary institution of some kind. It targets students who are generally underrepresented in most postsecondary schools, such as students who are not English proficient, students with disabilities, homeless students and those living in foster care. In addition, the program assists students from low-income households and those who have been disconnected from secondary education for whatever reason.
The Talent Search Program for student works through grants awarded to postsecondary institutions, public agencies or organizations and community-based organizations that work with disadvantaged youth. The grants are awarded to specific projects designed to help this demographic of the student population get the tools and support they need to succeed in an academic environment. Talent Search Program competitions are held every four years, and at that time, lucky organizations and postsecondary schools may receive a piece of the pie to help underprivileged students in their communities achieve academic success.