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Texas A&M-Kingsville Student Access receives $3.7 million in Department of Education grants

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Leaders of the Pack statue

KINGSVILLE (November 3, 2021) — The Office of Student Access at Texas A&M University-Kingsville recently were notified by the U. S. Department of Education that they will receive three new grants. The Talent Search Program, Educational Opportunity Center and the Educational Opportunity Center Rural will receive a total of just over $3.7 million for the next five years.


“The Talent Search and Educational Opportunity Center grants are important to the university because they align with Texas A&M-Kingsville’s mission to enrich lives through education, discovery and service in South Texas and beyond,” said Dr. Maria Martinez, associate vice president for student access.


“The primary goals of Talent Search and Educational Opportunity Centers are to increase graduation or diploma equivalency rates; provide academic and career support services for financial aid and financial literacy planning; provide postsecondary admissions support services; and increase postsecondary enrollment,” she added.


Individually, Talent Search will receive $1.39 million while the Educational Opportunity Centers will receive $1.16 million each.


“All three programs are vitally important to the economic health of the region,” Martinez said. “Combined they serve 2,500 participants and their families all along the Coastal Bend region, including the Rio Grande Valley. They help high school and adult learners to complete academic milestones and receive career training that ultimately lead to economic and community sustainability.”


The Talent Search program serves H.M. King High School in Kingsville, Robstown High School, San Diego High School and West Oso High School in Corpus Christi. The program provides academic and career services aimed toward high school completion, she said. Services also include assistance applying for admission into higher education institutions, financial literacy and financial aid planning. Students participate in college prep Saturday Academies and Summer Experiences at Texas A&M-Kingsville.


The Educational Opportunity Center serves Jim Wells, Duval, Brooks, Kleberg and Nueces counties while the Rural version of the program serves Willacy and Hidalgo counties. This program provides counseling and information on college admissions to adults 19 and over who want to enter college or continue a program of postsecondary education. Services include college admissions preparation, financial aid assistance, economic literacy, career advising and GED completion if needed.


“These programs serve underrepresented, underserved participants by providing college and career planning services,” Martinez said. “Both programs help individuals with ApplyTX and FAFSA. Staff facilitate assessments and help participants become familiar with the links between college disciplines and majors and career trajectories. In addition, program workshops include training in relevant skills and knowledge to equip participants with tools for college success and employment in in-demand industry sectors.”



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