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Alcorn State University awarded over $2.7 million for Talent Search program

The U.S. Department of Education announced that over $2.7 million over a five year period has been awarded to Alcorn State University for Talent Search. The grant was made possible by Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), of Brookhaven, Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), and Rep. Michael Guest (R-Miss.).

“Alcorn appreciates the continued support of our legislators,” said Dr. Felecia M. Nave, president of Alcorn State University. “This investment allows us to help even more high school students reach the finish line to graduation and ease their transition to college.”

The Talent Search program identifies and assists individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds who have the potential to succeed in higher education. The program provides academic, career, and financial counseling to its participants and encourages them to graduate from high school and continue on to and complete their postsecondary education.

“I am excited that we received the grants,” said Dr. Malinda Butler, interim dean of the School of Education and Psychology. “The grants will allow the School of Education and Psychology to work collaboratively with our local school districts to enhance their students’ exposure to academic, social, and cultural experiences that will likely increase their opportunities to become productive citizens. In addition, the school will continue to look for innovative ways to promote academic success for students in our service area.”

Funding was also provided to two other institutions in Mississippi — Southwest Mississippi Community College and Jackson State.

According to a press release Sen. Hyde-Smith stated, “These Mississippi institutions understand the challenges their students encounter. They have been awarded these grants to carry out programs that can help these students overcome barriers and access the higher-paying job opportunities available to graduates with certificates and degrees,” Hyde-Smith said.

“I’m grateful the U.S. Department of Education recognized the incredible work of SMCC, Jackson State, and Alcorn State to educate young people across Mississippi,” Guest said. “Increasing student retention is a critical part of our nation’s investment in our future leaders, and the emphasis on STEM programs will ensure these students are prepared for a successful career in many important fields of work.”

The release also mentioned that Sen. Roger Wicker said a college education could be a lifeline for students looking to advance career opportunities.