CSU, Chico News

Educational Talent Search Re-Funded

Date: 08-04-2011

Kathleen McPartland
Public Affairs
Diana Parra-Villasenor
Educational Talent Search

The Educational Talent Search (ETS) program at California State University, Chico has been re-funded with two separate grants by the U.S. Department of Education through the federal TRIO programs. The two grants total $3,045,095 to be paid out over five years. With this funding, ETS will continue to serve 1,330 students in sixteen high schools, located in five of CSU, Chico’s service area counties: Butte, Glenn, Tehama, Sutter and Yuba.

ETS is committed to academically preparing and motivating low-income, first-generation college students for success in postsecondary education. The program provides academic, career and financial counseling to participants and encourages them to graduate from high school, enroll in and graduate from college. ETS staff meet with students bi-monthly, host four annual conferences at the CSU, Chico campus, take students on college visitations, provide family workshops and assist with completing financial aid and college admission applications.

“This renewed funding is wonderful recognition of the service that we provide to the region through our support of Educational Talent Search,” said Meredith Kelley, Vice Provost for Enrollment Management. “It reflects on the strong and on-going commitment provided by our campus, as well as the hard work of the ETS staff.”

CSU, Chico’s ETS staff, under the direction of Diana Parra-Villaseñor, Director of ETS, developed a unique service delivery plan that involves a sequential series of activities that focus on postsecondary opportunities including study skills, career awareness, financial literacy and test preparation.

“Given both the economic crisis and the changing demographics of California students, ETS provides a unique and necessary service to socially and economically disadvantaged families,” said Parra-Villaseñor. In the annual report recently submitted by Parra-Villaseñor, it states that large numbers of students in the ETS target area fail to graduate and only 50% go on to institutions of higher education. In the past seven years, 90% of ETS graduates have enrolled in college.

"Our ETS staff understands first hand the difference educational equity programs make in bridging the gap from high school to college,” said Parra-Villasenor. “We are passionate about helping students overcome barriers to attain their educational and personal goals. We are extremely fortunate to have the support of the campus, target schools and community to aide in the success of students."