The Education Talent Search (ETS) program at Washington State Community College (WSCC) is the recipient of a $40,000 Federal grant that will support education efforts focused on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).

ETS is a national program designed to identify and assist individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds who have the potential to succeed in higher education. Donna Muntz, Director of College Access and ETS at WSCC explained that thanks to this grant, the program’s overall annual budget at the federal level was increased to nearly $500 thousand for the 2019-2020 budget year.

Collectively, the funds are used to provide academic, career, and financial counseling to its participants and encourages them to graduate from high school and continue on to complete postsecondary education. The recent grant funds are earmarked specifically for STEM and STEM-related education. Currently, Washington State’s ETS supports 16 schools and 825 students from Washington, Meigs, Morgan, and Noble counties.

“Our primary goal is to support students as they’re deciding the career they would like to pursue and then we help them develop a plan to attain the education they will need,” explained Muntz. “The grant funds will allow us to focus our attention on giving them experiences in STEM-focused activities as part of career exploration.”

There are five specific components the grant supports: educational and cultural trips, summer camps, ACT workshops, professional development for staff specifically related to STEM training, and the addition of a part-time math and science tutor.  While Muntz and her staff are still in the planning phases of how to best allocate the funds, she said the greatest portion of the money will support next summer’s high school and middle school camps as all activities will be STEM-related. She said they also plan to take ETS students to the Kings Island Engineering Day in the spring.

ETS is among eight programs in the Federal TRIO Program that is funded entirely by the US Department of Education. These services are provided for students in grades 6 to 12 across the nation.

For more than 48 years, Washington State Community College has provided residents of the Mid-Ohio Valley the opportunity to realize dreams, to enhance skills, and to broaden understanding. Whether you are a recent high school graduate or an adult student looking to move your life in a new direction, Washington State has the classes to suit your needs. For more information about Washington State Community College, or call 740.374.8716.