Gannon University Receives $1.2 Million Grant to Serve Erie High School Students

Strategic Goals: Innovation

Colleges and universities know that there are talented students everywhere, but finding them and steering them toward a rewarding academic career has often been a challenge.

That search just got a little easier at Gannon University thanks to a $1.2 million, five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education. 

The grant will support Gannon University’s GO College Talent Search Program to identify and assist students from disadvantaged backgrounds from Erie’s Strong Vincent High School and two of its feeder elementary schools, Harding and Pfeiffer-Burleigh

Through the program, students who have the potential to succeed in higher education will receive academic, career and financial counseling that encourages them to graduate from high school, attend and complete their postsecondary education.

The Talent Search program also encourages persons who have not completed education programs at the secondary or postsecondary level to enter or reenter and complete postsecondary education. Other services provided by the program include career exploration and aptitude assessment, tutoring, and providing information on postsecondary education, including student financial assistance and assistance with completing college admissions and financial aid applications and preparing for college entrance exams. The grant will also support mentoring programs, special activities for sixth, seventh and eighth-graders and workshops for the families of participants

Gannon University will implement these programs with professional staff from United Way of Erie County and the Erie Community Foundation, along with Gannon students who are trained to serve as tutors and mentors, provide Talent Search participants with services such as tutoring, help with SAT/ACTs, and career/college exploration. We also provide opportunities for students to complete free dual enrollment courses at Gannon, participate in campus visits and college fairs, and complete college applications. As a result, students at these schools begin to believe in and prepare for a future that includes graduating from high school and enrolling, attending, and graduating from college.

Talent Search is one of the Education Department’s eight TRiO Programs, which are federally funded programs designed to serve and assist low-income individuals, first-generation college students and individuals with disabilities to progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to post baccalaureate programs.