Cameron University receives funding for Student Support Services, Upward Bound and Talent Search/Open Doors from U.S. Department of Education

Cameron University has received $1,189,530 in funding from the U.S. Department of Education for three university programs that play a vital role in the success of underserved Oklahomans in completing a college degree: Student Support Services, Upward Bound and Talent Search/Open Doors. The programs are funded under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965.

“Talent Search/Open Doors, Upward Bound and Student Support Services offer opportunities and assistance that fundamentally support the concept that anyone, regardless of race, ethnic background or economic circumstances, can complete a college degree,” says President John McArthur. “Through the years, we have supported countless students who have been told that they aren’t college material, and we’ve celebrated each and every one of those who have not only enrolled in college, but who have completed a degree. Without this funding from the U.S. Department of Education, we would not be able to provide these services.”

Student Support Services (SSS) will utilize its $445,101 award to continue providing opportunities for undergraduates to receive assistance to improve academic and life skills, which will enable them to successfully meet their goals of earning a bachelor’s degree. The goal of SSS is to increase retention and graduation rates of its participants and to facilitate the process of transition from one level of higher education to the next.

Cameron’s Upward Bound program has received a grant for $340,828. Upward Bound serves high school students preparing to enter postsecondary education who come from low-income families and/or in which neither parent holds a bachelor degree. The goal of Upward Bound is to increase the rates at which participants enroll in and graduate from institutions of higher education.

Cameron’s Talent Search/Open Doors program has received $403,601. The program identifies and assists individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds who have the potential to succeed in higher education. The program encourages participants to graduate from high school and to complete a college degree. Talent Search also serves high school dropouts by encouraging them to reenter the educational system and complete their educations. The goal of Talent Search is to increase the number of youth from disadvantaged backgrounds who complete high school and pursue a college degree.

All three programs provide tutoring services, mentoring, and academic, financial or personal counseling in addition to services designed specifically for participants of each program.

Student Support Services provides individualized academic advising, FAFSA and financial literacy assistance, social and cultural enrichment activities, assistance with career and graduate school goals, math and writing academic tutorial labs, and grant aid to current SSS participants who are receiving Federal Pell Grants.

CU’s Upward Bound program provides a wide array of services designed to assist participants in their preparation for college. Services include instruction in reading, writing, study skills, and other subjects necessary for success in education beyond high school; exposure to academic programs and cultural events; information on postsecondary education opportunities; assistance in completing university entrance and financial aid applications; assistance in preparing for college entrance exams; and work study positions to expose participants to careers requiring a postsecondary degree. Participants reside in the Cameron dormitories for six weeks during the summer, replicating a college-like experience.

Services provided by Talent Search/Open Doors include career exploration and aptitude assessment; information on postsecondary education; exposure to university campuses; information on student financial assistance; assistance in completing university admissions and financial aid applications; and assistance in preparing for university entrance exams. The program also provides services for sixth, seventh and eighth graders and workshops for the families of participants.

Cameron University students can learn more about Student Support Services by calling 580-581-2352 or visiting the Office of Student Support Services on the fourth floor of the North Shepler Tower.

Community members seeking information about Upward Bound and Talent Search/Open Doors can learn more by calling 580-581-5581.

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September 19, 2019