ICC Receives $1.2 M Federal Grant for New Program Aimed at Helping Area Students Succeed in High School and Beyond

The U.S. Department of Education recently awarded Illinois Central College a $1.2 M grant to fund a new program that will provide students from disadvantaged backgrounds some additional tools to succeed in college, even while they are still in high school.

Sen. Dick Durbin’s office notified ICC officials on Monday that the college’s application was accepted for the TRiO Talent Search Program, a five-year federal grant that will provide $240,000 a year to identify and assist students currently attending Peoria High School or Manual Academy who have the potential to succeed in higher education but who may lack the resources.

“We are proud to be part of this program and appreciate the collaborative relationship it strengthens between ICC and Peoria Public Schools,” said ICC President Dr. Sheila Quirk-Bailey. “Talent Search gives us additional tools to support the efforts of area youth coming from disadvantaged backgrounds as they complete high school and then help them translate that completion and persistence goal to their college journey as well.”

“Congratulations to ICC. This award is another example that our community-wide collaboration and alignment efforts are having a significant positive impact for our students, our families and our community,” said Peoria Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat. “As a district and in partnership with Illinois Central College, we continue to develop trusting relationships to produce opportunities and results to realize our mission and vision. The Talent Search grant is one significant endeavor that I believe will help us do that.”

ICC will choose approximately 500 students to participate. The students will receive success coaching, academic tutoring and advisement, mentoring, assistance the college entry process and a host of wrap-around support services. Students also will have the opportunity to visit colleges and participate in a variety of cultural activities.

“We are delighted that the U.S. Department of Education selected us for this expanded opportunity to support the youth in our community,” said Dr. Rita Ali, ICC Vice President of Diversity, International and Adult Education. “The program is designed to enrich the educational experience of the students and increase their ability to be successful in high school and in college.”

ICC applied for the grant in February and will begin the program in September. The College plans to staff the program with a director, two success coaches, and academic tutors.

The TRiO Programs are outreach student services programs funded and administered by the U.S. Department of Education and are aimed at identifying and providing assistance to students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Peoria High School and Manual Academy students and families who are interested in learning more about the Talent Search Program should contact their high school counselors after the start of the school year this fall.