The Educational Talent Search (ETS) program at UC Riverside has been selected to receive a five year, $1.15 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education. This educational program, first implemented at UC Riverside in 2002, aims to provide guidance and  resources to promote higher rates of college attendance among low-income students in the San Bernardino City Unified School District (SBCUSD).
The ETS program is one of over 450 such programs nationwide, 60 of which reside in California.  Arroyo Valley High School, Pacific High School, San Bernardino High School and San Gorgonio High School are the four schools that are involved with UC Riverside’s chapter of the program. “The schools were chosen based on need and the working relationship we have established with SBCUSD. The target populations at these schools have a high need for assistance,” stated Program Director Alicia Velazquez in an article by the UC Riverside Newsroom.
Velazquez said that she anticipates nearly 1,000 students to participate  in the program, which consists of one-on-one academic advising, mentoring, college campus visits, cultural activities, and a  summer residential visit at UC Riverside, as stated in the newsroom article. The summer residential visit, in addition to staff mentoring,  is a new development of the program and is a feature that is not offered at every participating educational institution. “This will be the first year that we offer the summer residential visit. Students will stay on campus and take college-like classes taught by graduate students, listen to guest speakers and participate in enrichment programs and team-building exercises,” explained Velazquez.
Velazquez also notes that students in the program are not urged or encouraged to attending any specific college even though UC Riverside is conducting the program, nor does the program highlight any particular fields of study. “ETS provides students who are motivated to pursue a higher education with the information and tools that they need to prepare and apply for college, and to succeed once they get there,” stated Velazquez. Past trips by students in the program included visits to the University of Southern California and UC San Diego.
The $230,000 annual grant payments will continue until 2016.