A federal grant of $ 277,375 will allow Central Michigan University to continue helping low-income students in Detroit become the first in their families to earn college degrees.
The five-year competitive grant from the US Department of Education continues to fund CMU for Talent Search, a federal TRIO program that identifies and helps middle and high school students who have the potential to succeed in higher education. A previous grant funded CMU’s participation from 2017.
Since then, the CMU program has served over 2,000 students at select Detroit public schools – 500 students per year, with new students joining other graduates.
The high school graduation rate for CMU program participants is 98%, with 75% pursuing post-secondary education – steps that have met or exceeded targets, said Primavera Jimenez, project director for CMU’s TRIO Detroit college programs.
Talent Search provides academic, professional and financial advice to students and families and exposes participants to higher education opportunities. There is no charge to participate. At least two-thirds of the students in each local program come from low-income economic backgrounds and from families in which neither parent has a bachelor’s degree.
“We are working with the whole family on what college is like,” Jimenez said.
CMU takes it to the next level with one-week summer camps for middle school students and two-week camps for high school students. Students visit campus, stay in residences, and attend faculty-led classes focused on careers, entrepreneurship, STEM, and more. Jimenez said CMU’s program is unique in offering two-week tours.
During the school year, a CMU team works with Talent Search students in their schools at least once a week. They receive advice as well as information on university admission requirements, scholarships and student financial aid programs, so that they can better understand their education opportunities and options.
Jimenez said CMU’s program serves southwest Detroit, a heavily Latino community, but participation isn’t limited to minority students.
“The bottom line is that CMU provides opportunities for first generation students,” she said. “It’s nice to see students progress and to know that there are a lot of different possibilities for them in the world. “
According to the Department of Education, more than 309,000 students signed up for Talent Search TRIO projects in the United States in fiscal year 2020.
Jimenez said CMU’s talent search program was one of 473 applicants funded out of more than 800 applicants. CMU also sponsors three other TRIO programs through the Office of Student Success: two Upward Bound programs for high school students and the McNair Scholars program for first generation CMU students aspiring to graduate degrees. higher.