Lake County College: Talent Search Grant Helps CLC Create Educational Pathways for High School Students

Grant funding helps provide access to these students through a variety of academic and personal experiences and activities. Programming includes academic counseling, tutoring, ACT / SAT preparation, FAFSA financial aid and completion, university visits, career exploration and observation, coaching and mentoring. Additionally, the transition program for freshmen includes study skills, time management, and financial literacy.

Two-thirds of the program students served are first generation students and may come from low-income households. TRiO ETS serves approximately 1,000 students per year and targets high schools in Zion-Benton, Waukegan, Round Lake and North Chicago. CLC specialists who work with TRiO meet with high school students to discuss academics and facilitate success strategy workshops.

Photo: Waukegan High School TRiO ETS Scholars at the Adler Planetarium for a STEM exploration trip in Spring 2019.

Photo: Waukegan High School TRiO ETS Scholars at the Adler Planetarium for a STEM exploration trip in Spring 2019.

The program also supports students in other non-target high schools in Lake County. College students benefit from programming through specific offers throughout the school year as well as Summer College, Career and STEM Academy.

“TRiO ETS supports students and families by providing access, support and options,” said Ashley Cullen-Williams, Manager of TRiO ETS Grants. “Through an inquiry process, we connect and help the student create a path to success. It makes a difference because we are able to plant seeds, depending on the strengths of the students, and follow our growth as they progress from middle school to high school school and attend college.We can see the change in their mindset and the fruits of our labor within the community dynamics.

CLC Director of TRiO ETS Grants, Dr Sharon Sanders-Funnye said, “TRiO ETS is a great resource for Lake County youth who are looking for college prep and college prep skills. 96% of senior participants graduated from high school and enrolled in a higher education institution. institution, even during the pandemic. TRiO works! “

The program is designed to provide a sense of belonging, collegial identity, inclusion, and collaboration across many departments in the college. It connects students with education, careers and the community.

Here’s what TRiO ETS graduates have to say:

“TRiO ETS taught me what true mentoring is,” said Asharia Harris, CIS sophomore and TRiO ETS alumnus. “During good and stressful times, TRiO ETS was a constant resource. As a result, I grew academically and professionally. It pushed me to become more aware of myself, my goals and my future.”

“I am more than grateful and blessed to have participated in the TRiO ETS program,” said Jocelyn Campos Diaz, 2021 Round Lake High School graduate who attends Northern Illinois University on a full scholarship. “I honestly believe this program is one of the greatest support systems.”

TRiO ETS will focus on STEM programming and opportunities for participants during the next grant cycle.

TRiO works to support students even through a virtual platform. During the pandemic, students were able to observe open heart surgery with the Museum of Science and Industry and chat with surgeons at Advocate Christ Medical Hospital.

College of Lake County is a comprehensive community college committed to high quality equitable education, cultural enrichment, and partnerships to advance the diverse communities it serves in Northeast Illinois. Offered at three campuses in Grayslake, Vernon Hills and Waukegan or online, college courses are affordable and accessible to help each student achieve their academic, professional and personal goals. More than 70,000 students have earned degrees and certificates since the college opened in 1969. College of Lake County is the only higher education institution ranked among the 15 Best Places to Work in Illinois by Forbes and is a national leader in many areas including sustainability and conservation.


This press release was produced by Lake County College. The opinions expressed here are those of the author.


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