The Talent Search program at Bluegrass Community & Technical College is a federal TRiO program funded by the U.S. Department of Education and is based at BCTC’s Leestown Campus in Lexington, Kentucky. Our mission is to assist eligible youth (7th – 12th grade) and adults in preparing for and gaining admittance to postsecondary educational programs. Talent Search provides educational guidance to 680 students in Clark, Fayette and Scott Counties.

Our goals center on helping participants with the following:

  • Excel in school.
  • Develop an awareness of potential careers and college majors.
  • Experience positive cultural activities.
  • Understand and pursue a postsecondary education.
  • Understand and become financially literate.

History of the Federal TRiO Programs and CCAMPIS Program

The history of TRiO is progressive. Upward Bound, the first of the TRiO programs, began as a pilot project authorized by the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 to encourage low-income youths to complete high school and prepare for college. A year later, Talent Search was created as part of the Higher Education Act of 1965 to assist students applying for newly authorized federal financial aid for post secondary education.

The TRiO name itself was born four years later when the Higher Education Act of 1965 was amended in 1968 to include the Special Services for Disadvantaged Students program—what is now called Student Support Services (SSS). Upward Bound, Talent Search and SSS formed a trio of federal programs designed to foster increased educational opportunity and attainment. Upward Bound and Talent Search focused on college preparation and admission while SSS helped eligible students stay in college until they earned a college degree.

Since 1968, the TRiO programs have been expanded to provide a wider range of services. Today, nine TRiO programs are included under the TRiO umbrella. The 1972 amendments to the Higher Education Act created Educational Opportunity Centers (EOCs) to help adults select a postsecondary education program and obtain financial aid. Veterans Upward Bound (VUB) was also initiated in the 1972 as part of the Upward Bound program to serve returning Vietnam veterans. Amendments in 1986 added the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program (MCN) to foster doctoral degree attainment by students from underrepresented segments of society. In 1990, the U.S. Department of Education created the Upward Bound Math and Science (UBMS) program to address the need for specific instruction in the fields of mathematics and science.



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