Grant helps disadvantaged students

Tue Aug 9, 2016 at 10:01 AM

A North Arkansas College program that changes “I can’t” into “I can” will continue to be the catalyst that helps students realize they can attend and complete college.  Northark has been awarded $653,280 from the U.S. Department of Education to 100% fund its Educational Talent Search (ETS) program.  The grant is expected to be extended for five years.

The college received word of the grant from Congressman Steve Womack’s office.

“Northark is grateful to Congressman Womack for his support,” said Northark President Randy Esters.  “Going through personal difficulties can cause some talented students to feel they don’t belong or don’t have what’s needed to succeed. We all know life happens. The Educational Talent Search program provides resources and support to help students realize their natural capabilities and ultimately reach their potential.” 

The program identifies and assists students from disadvantaged backgrounds who have the potential to succeed in higher education. It provides academic, career, and financial counseling to its participants and encourages them to graduate from high school and enroll in and complete postsecondary education.

“Talent Search is a remarkably important program that identifies disadvantaged students showing promise and gives them the tools they need to succeed in secondary and post-secondary education,” said Congressman Womack.  “I am happy that students from the Third District will be able to benefit from this program.” 

Based on 2015 funding and number served, Northark’s program was eighth in the nation and has received nearly another 100K that will result a higher position in the ladder for 2016.

 “TRIO grant competitions have become increasingly more competitive. It is an honor to have been chosen,” says TRIO Director Pam Richiert.  “We can continue the great work we do empowering our students with life skills and to successfully enroll in college.  “This funding will allow our program to continue to serve students in 30 schools in Arkansas.”   

Northark’s ETS serves around 1361 students per year.  Roughly 80% of the program’s seniors enroll in college each year, far exceeding the goal of 68%.

ETS is one of three federal TRIO programs operated at Northark.  The Educational Opportunity Center helps adults 19 and older who want to enroll in college for the first time or who want to re-enter college after dropping out by assisting with the college admission process and finding financial assistance for their education. The College also offers a Student Support Services program, which provides tutoring and related services to improve success rates of students in the ETS demographic once they enroll in college.

For more information on the ETS call Pam Richiert at 870-391-3135.

North Arkansas College is committed to providing an educational and work environment for its students, faculty, and staff that is free from sexual discrimination including sexual harassment, sexual assault, and sexual violence. No form of sexual discrimination will be tolerated. See the full North Arkansas College Title IX Policy and Procedures for the specific definitions of sexual harassment and sexual violence, including examples of such conduct.