Meet Our Presenters: Project 4

Back to School Mini-Conference

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1) What’s your group’s background?
The Federal TRIO Programs (TRIO) are federal outreach and student services programs designed to identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. Upward Bound and Educational Talent Search are TRiO programs targeted to serve and assist low-income individuals, first-generation college students. These programs are funded under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 as a direct result of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty. Carla Halliburton has spent the bulk of her career in Higher Education and has been with the Upward Bound program since 2002. Julie Barnickle spent four years teaching high school English, one year as a Dean of Students, and joined Educational Talent Search at Columbus State as an academic advisor in January 2014.
2) Describe your Project!
The Back to School Mini-Conference allows an opportunity for students to take part in educational break-out sessions focusing on topics such as; study skills, time management, goal setting, academic preparedness, developmental vs. college-ready courses, personal accountability, and intercultural understanding (culture, environment, image, social acceptance, family issues, social norms, etc.). A panel discussion by successful college students who sought support from the college’s Upward Bound and Educational Talent Search programs will focus on perseverance and college transition. Seniors, who have met pre-determined college readiness standards, will focus on first year college expectations and will be awarded college transition packages based on individual need.
3) What is your goal for this project?
Our students come from primarily low-income and potential first-generation families. Within 14 of the district’s 17 high schools, nearly 40 percent of students who attended as freshmen drop out annually. We hope to change this picture by providing students support to overcome academic and social deficits and become their own self-advocate. Students in our target population may not see college as accessible. We strive to eliminate confidence barriers and properly prepare our students to navigate their 1st year of college successfully.
4) How much money do you need and what will you use it for?
Columbus State Community College donates space for our Back to School Mini-Conference. Upward Bound and Educational Talent Search provide $500 each for food and school supplies. We generally fundraise $300 from community sponsors for raffle incentive prizes and additional school supplies. We are asking Columbus Soup for $1500 dollars to fund our college transition materials that fall under our grant’s unallowable costs. TRiO Upward Bound and Educational Talent Search funds must be of equal opportunity for all members and may not be allocated for seniors only. Upward Bound and Educational Talent Search will provide 30 seniors with $50 of need based college transition materials, which may include: dorm supplies, backpacks/outerwear, personal care items, transportation costs, etc.