Donnelly College hails KU’s TRIO Talent Search as partner of the year

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – A University of Kansas-based program that helps middle- and high-school students in Kansas City, Kan., prepare and plan for college has been recognized by Donnelly College as its 2015 Partner of the Year.

Talent Search, one of eight federal TRIO programs in the Achievement & Assessment Institute’s Center for Educational Opportunity Programs (CEOP), prepares sixth- through 12th-grade students for postsecondary education. Services include but are not limited to: academic and career-exploration workshops, college preparation sessions, family events, advising, college visits, assistance with college-application and financial-aid processes, and summer programming.

“We are humbled and honored,” said KU TRIO Talent Search Director Rebecca Dukstein. “We have worked with Donnelly College for more than two decades, and our partnership has never been stronger. Together we provide innovative and important college-access opportunities to the youth and families of Wyandotte County. We can only be effective with strong and healthy partnerships like the one we have with Donnelly. We are grateful to Donnelly and their amazing staff for helping to make our shared visions become reality in the world of college access.”

Over the years, KU TRIO Talent Search has teamed with Donnelly staff members for such initiatives as a family workshop series, College Quest Summer Program, and College & Career Connection Middle School Camp. Most recently, with Donnelly and other partners including the Kansas City, Kansas, Public Schools (KCKPS), KU TRIO Talent Search launched Summer U, an initiative to help students overcome the fears and challenges they may face the summer before entering college.

“We here at Donnelly work closely with the KU Talent Search program through innovative programs like Summer U, which assists KCKPS seniors with enrollment efforts for college, as well as college-access application events, where Donnelly is one of 10 colleges selected to participate annually,” said Monsignor Stuart Swetland, Donnelly College president. “Either through these programs or the many others ways in which we work together, we are thrilled to have a partner like KU TRIO Talent Search.”

CEOP Director Dr. Ngondi Kamatuka said TRIO programs like Talent Search align with KU’s Bold Aspirations initiative in the ways that they encourage and sustain diversity and student success. “A confluence of socioeconomic disadvantages work against these students,” Kamatuka said, “but these programs provide the support systems that make positive differences and ultimately lead to success.”

About the Achievement & Assessment Institute (AAI)
AAI is the umbrella organization for four specialized research centers at the University of Kansas, including CEOP, which supports a wide spectrum of learners and provides educational information, counseling, academic instruction, tutoring, assistance in applying for financial aid and supportive encouragement to both students and their families. Programs help students overcome academic, economic, social and cultural barriers to higher education.

AAI’s other research centers are Agile Technology Solutions, the Center for Public Partnerships & Research and the Center for Educational Testing & Evaluation. In all, AAI employs about 500 staff members, all committed to building partnerships, products and programs in educational practice, assessment and evaluation. These initiatives benefit children, adults, communities and publicly funded agencies at the local, state and national levels.


Media Contact
Bill Woodard
Communications Manager
Achievement & Assessment Institute
The University of Kansas  |  785.864.1680

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