Wyden, Merkley: $2.5 Million to Go to Oregon College Prep Programs for Underserved Students
Photo: Trio Talent Search students on a field trip to the Hatfield Aquarium in Newport, OR (2019).
U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley announced that seven college preparation programs all over the state will receive a combined more than $2.5 million to increase the number of young Oregonians from disadvantaged backgrounds who complete high school and enroll in postsecondary education.
“Programs like these can make the difference in an Oregon student’s life between starting out with a high school diploma or as a high school dropout,” Wyden said. “Every student deserves the chance to pursue their passion. Since students from disadvantaged backgrounds often face more barriers to postsecondary education, it’s critical to invest in college prep services that can help them. I am gratified to see these incredible Oregon programs earn federal dollars to tackle this challenge head on and give every student a fair shot.”
“Every Oregonian should have access to a quality education, regardless of their zip code or how much money their parents have,” said Merkley. “As the first in my family to graduate from college, I know how hard that transition can be. A little extra support can make a big difference and I am pleased that we were able to secure federal resources to help provide more higher learning opportunities for our students. I will continue to push for support that will create pathways for our students to succeed.”
Southwestern Oregon Community College will receive $622,986 for the Talent Search program, which provides academic, career, and financial counseling to students from disadvantaged backgrounds and encourages them to graduate from high school and continue on to and complete their postsecondary education. “Southwestern has been fortunate to have Trio Talent Search funding since 1991. It’s wonderful that we now have another five-year grant renewal. Talent Search Helps over 1,100 students annually on the South coast reach their educational goals. It truly changes lives and families,” shared Sharilyn Brown, Education Talent Search/Upward Bound Director at Southwestern.
Funded projects provide tutoring services, career exploration, aptitude assessments, counseling, mentoring programs, workshops, information on postsecondary institutions, financial literacy education or counseling services, guidance on and assistance in secondary school reentry, alternative education programs for secondary school dropouts, and programs and activities previously mentioned that are specially designed for students who are English Language Learners, students with disabilities, homeless students, students aging out of foster care, and other disconnected students.
For more information about the Trio Talent Search program at Southwestern visit www.socc.edu/trio or call 541-888-7223.
Coos Bay, OR — Southwestern Oregon Community College is thrilled to announce that student Jordyn Tippett has been named a 2021 Coca-Cola Academic Team Bronze Scholar and will receive a $1,000 scholarship. This accolade comes on the heels of her being selected for the All-Oregon Academic Team.
Having moved to Coos Bay four years ago, at Southwestern, Jordyn has been heavily involved in college life. She’s a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, serves as vice president of the TRIO Student Support Services Club, as well as being a peer mentor and tutor for the program. After graduating this spring, she will continue her education transferring to Western Oregon University where she will study psychology and business.
Jordyn shares, “I aspire to become a counselor and provide comprehensive services to my rural community. My plan is to receive my degree in counseling so I can create a new cohesive and alternative style to counseling. I want to be a strong professional and supportive matriarch to guide others to their best life.”
Southwestern offers many opportunities for students to excel through clubs and support groups. Phi Theta Kappa is the premier honor society recognizing the academic achievement of students at associate degree-granting colleges, helping them to grow as scholars and leaders. For information on Phi Theta Kappa at Southwestern please email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) is a federally funded program that provides select students with free academic support services designed to help them succeed in college and prepare for their next steps. For more information on the benefits of the TRIO SSS program please visit www.socc.edu/trio or call 541-888-7419.
About the Awards
The All-Oregon Community College Academic Team, a part of the national All-State Community College Academic Team program, recognizes high achieving two-year college students who demonstrate academic excellence and intellectual rigor combined with leadership and service that extends their education beyond the classroom to benefit society. Students are nominated for the All-Oregon Academic Team by their college administrators. Phi Theta Kappa – the community college honor society – along with community college presidents and community college state associations sponsor All-State Community College Academic Team ceremonies in 38 participating states.
Selection as a Coca-Cola Bronze Scholar is based on scores the student earns in the All-USA Academic Team competition. This program is sponsored by the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation and is administered by Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.
The Coca-Cola Academic Team program by recognizes 50 Gold, 50 Silver, and 50 Bronze Scholars with nearly $200,000 in scholarships annually. Each scholar also receives a commemorative medallion. “The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation has a long history of providing financial assistance to outstanding students at community colleges,” said Jane Hale Hopkins, President of the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation. “We are proud to partner with Phi Theta Kappa and make it possible for deserving students to achieve their educational goals.”
COOS BAY, Ore. – Since Covid-19 has radically changed the way students connect with each other in our community, the TRIO staff at Southwestern Oregon Community College (SWOCC) has been extra-creative finding ways to safely engage their students in learning and community service opportunities.
Southwestern received its first TRIO grant in 1991 and now has four TRIO projects that serve almost 1,300 families in Coos, Curry and western Douglas County. Students who participate in TRIO programs are twice as likely to enroll in and graduate from college than students from similar backgrounds who do not receive services. TRIO programs, funded by the US Department of Education, have been providing valuable, supportive services for over 50 years to students who are first-generation college students or who meet income guidelines, to help them successfully enter college and graduate. TRIO Talent Search and Upward Bound pre-college programs provide valuable services to middle school and high school students including assistance in choosing a college, tutoring, personal and financial counseling, career counseling, assistance in applying to college, workplace and college visits and assistance in applying for financial aid. TRIO Student Support Services at the college level is an academic support program for students that provides a designated computer lab and study area, career exploration, academic advising and transfer planning, financial aid and scholarship assistance, a lending library with textbooks and laptops, peer mentoring and tutoring, campus visits to Oregon’s four-year schools, and cultural enrichment activities.
Although TRIO has not been able to offer the popular college campus visits for students to explore their options, there are still ways for students to safely participate in new experiences. For example, in January, North Bend High School (NBHS) TRIO students challenged Marshfield High School (MHS) TRIO to a virtual College Lingo Bingo match. The NBHS team won Scoops gift certificates and the chance to see the MHS TRIO advisor get “pied” on video! However, MHS was victorious in a February rematch so their team got ice cream and the NBHS TRIO advisors got pie in the face.
In addition to those friendly and hilarious competitions, a small group of TRIO students from our middle schools, high schools, and SWOCC participated in a socially distancedTRIO Rocks! rock painting project on February 27th at a local park. Students decorated rocks with amazing art and positive words to hide all over town and bring a smile to the people in our community. If you find a rock with a “TRIO Rocks” sticker on the bottom, please be sure to send a photo of it to #TRIORocks!
If we can’t make our annual trip to the Wildlife Safari in Winston, no problem, the Safari will come to us! Next month, Wildlife Safari will bring a Cheetah Ambassador to town and give TRIO a special outdoor program about cheetahs and their world-renowned cheetah breeding program. Whether it’s a pie in the face or traveling cheetahs, TRIO finds ways to keep our students connected and interested.
All of Southwestern’s TRIO programs have an opportunity to serve more students in our community. If you, or someone you know, could benefit from TRIO, please call 541-888-7223 and let them know if you want information for a middle school, high school, or college student.