LEWISTON – The Educational Talent Search (ETS) program, hosted at Lewis-Clark State College, has received permission to expand into Grangeville this fall, Traci Birdsell, senior director of the Educational Opportunity Grants Program at LC State, has announced.

ETS is one of eight federally funded TRIO programs. The ETS program serves students aged 11-27 whose families are on a limited income and/or whose parents did not graduate with a four-year college degree. The program targets educationally talented students who have the desire and the potential to seek post high school education, which includes two-and four-year colleges and technical schools. ETS helps students better understand their educational opportunities and options.

The Clearwater Valley ETS program at LC State served close to 600 junior high and high school students last year in Weippe, Lapwai, Orofino, Kooskia and Kamiah, and the addition of Grangeville this school year could mean another 150 students, according to Birdsell.

Because Grangeville was not included in the five-year grant from 2016, special permission was needed from the federal government as well the Mountain View School District, which oversees the public schools in Grangeville. Kooskia also is part of MVSD. Birdsell said because there was a carryover in funding from a year ago, it made sense to add Grangeville this year, especially with Grangeville Elementary Middle School Principal Adam Uptmor and Grangeville High School Principal Randall Miskin both being familiar with the program from previously working with schools in Kooskia.

Birdsell said Grangeville will be included in the five-year grant application in 2021.

“We are excited to be up there and we understand the high needs that happen in the rural areas,” Birdsell said.

“While LC State’s footprint in Grangeville may have changed, our education commitment has not,” LC State President Cynthia Pemberton added. “We are especially pleased to be able to increase outreach and support through this program.”

The program receives $284,160 each year in the current grant and the money is used to hire staff, for field trips, and various program to help the students succeed in school. Birdsell said she recently hired Emily Lane, a Kamiah High and 2018 LC State graduate in elementary education, who will be working with the Grangeville students. Lane has spent parts of the last two years teaching in Thailand and Brazil.

Birdsell said while any student interested in college can apply to be in the Clearwater Valley ETS program, the program must follow federal guidelines of having at least two-thirds of the participants be those whose parents did not graduate with a four-year college degree and with limited income. Applications will be passed out to students the second week of school. In addition, she hopes an online application will be available in September.

The Clearwater Valley ETS program covers a variety of subjects to help the students familiarize themselves with all aspects of college life. This includes working with the students on study habits, time management, career exploration, college applications, financial aid opportunities, and college campus visits. Birdsell said the campus visits to area colleges and universities begins in the sixth grade so students can start visualizing themselves going to college.

Students also have access to online tutoring from tutor.com and will soon have access to the website virtualjobshadow.com that contains information about jobs and 3-5 minute videos from people talking about their career and education.

Although LC State is the host of the Clearwater Valley ETS program, Birdsell and her staff are not recruiters for the college. ETS staff can help students go to post-secondary education anywhere in Idaho or the nation.

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