September 20, 2021

Maceo Rainey, center, TRIO Director of Educational Talent Search, poses in a group photo with students in PNW’s Educational Talent Search program in July at Target Field in Minneapolis. The group attended a Minnesota Twins baseball game while on a four-day trip to visit colleges and universities in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Purdue University Northwest’s (PNW) TRIO program was awarded renewed grants from the U.S. Department of Education for its federally funded Educational Talent Search programs to continue serving first-generation and economically disadvantaged college students.

The pre-college programs provide counseling, aptitude assessment, career exploration, financial assistance information, college visits, college application help and more at the Hammond and Westville campuses. The program coordinators service students in Lake, La Porte, Porter, and Starke counties.

The new five-year grant cycle for September 2021 to August 2026 awarded around $2 million for Hammond and $1.8 million for Westville. The grants are increased from $1.2 million and $1.5 million, respectively, in the previous cycle.

“This level of support and resources is unparalleled,” Maceo Rainey, TRIO Director of Educational Talent Search, said. “Most communities don’t have a TRIO program. It’s a huge advantage for taxpayers in Northwest Indiana. In communities like Lake, Porter, La Porte, and Starke counties, 80% of the residents do not have a four-year bachelor’s degree. TRIO is helping to close that gap.”

The Educational Talent Search teams’ focus in the new grant cycle includes supporting workforce development by shaping graduation pathways with intervention resources, industry role model matches, and skills inventories.

PNW’s Educational Talent Search programs are two of five federally funded TRIO programs. The others include Upward Bound, Student Support Services, and the McNair Achievement Program. Student Support Services received $1.7 million in 2020 for its current five-year cycle.

View the article on PNW’s website here.