Data & Research EVALUATION OF PROGRAMS
Implementation of the Talent Search Program, Past and Present
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Contents
Chapter   Page
  Acknowledgments v
  Executive Summary xxi
1 Introduction 1
  The Congressional Authorization for the Study 1
  Talent Search Program Background 2
  Project Goals and Services 2
Talent Search in the Context of Other Trio Programs 4
Study Objectives, Components, and Research Questions 5
Study Components 5
Research Questions 6
Implementation Study Methodology 7
Project Surveys 7
Case Studies 8
Performance Reports 9
U.S. Department of Education Data Sets 9
Structure of the Remainder of the Report 10
2 A Historical Overview of the Program: 1965-2000 11
Statistics Concerning the Talent Search Program 12
Trio and Talent Search Funding History 12
Total Number of Projects and Participants 14
Funding Per Project and Number Served Per Project 15
Average Number Served Per Project and Funding Per Student 16
Current Profile of Projects: Funding and Participants 18
Legislation and Regulations Governing Talent Search: 1965-2000 19
Shift from Conducting a Talent Search to Focusing on Access and Talent Development for All 19
Defining Eligibility Criteria 20
Targeting Younger Students 21
Coordinating Services 21
The Grant Selection Process 22
Serving the Under-Represented: the General Education Provisions Act 26
Performance Measurement: Government Performance and Results Act 26
Partnership Agreements 27
Continuity and Change over Time 27
Previous Studies of Talent Search 29
3 Project Hosts and Target Schools 33
Characteristics of Organizations Receiving Grants 34
Area Served 34
Regional Location 35
General Characteristics of Postsecondary Grantee Institutions 36
Institution Control 36
Carnegie Classification 37
Grantee Institution Size 39
Minority Enrollment at Grantee Host Institutions 40
Black Enrollment at Host Institutions 41
Hispanic Enrollment at Host Institutions 42
Asian and Pacific Islander, and American Indian and Alaska Native Enrollment at Host Institutions 44
Presence of Other Programs at the Host Institution 46
Number and Characteristics of Talent Search Target Schools 47
Describing Target Schools with the Common Core of Data 48
Estimates of Eligible Students Served 56
Unmet Need in Target Area 58
Choosing Target Schools 59
Service Area and Target School Context 60
4 Project Staff and Organization 63
Project Organization and Staff Roles 64
Project Age 64
Overview of Staff 65
Undergraduate Student and Volunteer Staff 67
Staff Positions 68
Staff Models and Responsibilities 69
Staff Characteristics 72
Staff Gender and Race/Ethnicity 72
Staff Education 73
Staff Salaries 75
Use of Language Other Than English 75
Project Directors' and Coordinators' Experience and Commitment to Project 76
Time Allocation of Staff 78
Use of External Review Boards 80
Talent Search Operating Budget 81
Staff Relations, Turnover, and Other Issues 83
Staff Autonomy and Creativity 83
Role Models 83
Staff Turnover 83
Student-Staff Relations 84
Relations Among Staff 85
Relations with Target Schools 85
Talent Search and School Counselors 86
5 Program Participants 89
Participant Demographic Characteristics 90
Gender and Race/Ethnicity 90
Participant Age 91
Participant Grade Level 92
Serving Middle School Students 92
Other Groups Served 93
Participants with Limited English Proficiency 93
Participant Eligibility Status 94
Participant Targeting and Recruiting 94
Participant Targeting, Application, and Participation 95
Types of Students Targeted and Disqualified 96
Participant Targeting in the Case Study Sites 98
Participant Recruitment Methods 100
Application and Participation Requirements 102
Issues and Challenges for Targeted Students 104
Participants' Educational Aspirations 106
Individual Needs Assessment and Service Plans 107
6 Talent Search Services and Activities 111
Overview of Services and Activities 111
Overview of Services and Activities 112
Academic Support Services 112
Personal and Career Development Services 115
Financial Aid Services 118
Fee Waivers 120
Summer Services 121
Services for Nonstudents and Nonparticipants 123
Services for Dropouts and Adults not Enrolled in a Postsecondary Program 123
Parental Involvement and Family Services 124
Serving Nonparticipants 128
Common Service Themes and Issues 129
Service Intensity and Extent of Student Involvement 129
Limited Capacity 131
Grade-Level Emphasis 132
Service Setting and Approach 133
Variability of Talent Search Services and Activities 134
Service Variability Between Projects 135
Service Variability Within Projects 139
Why Such Variability in Student Services? 142
7 Project Objectives, Outcomes, and Data 145
Talent Search Projects' Outcome Objectives 146
Participant Outcomes 149
Project-Reported Information on Outcomes 149
Subjective Information on Outcomes 153
Project Data, Record Keeping, and Evaluation 159
References 169
Appendix A: A Focused Look at Three Types of Services: Providing Academic Assistance, Using Technology, and Serving Middle School Students. A-1
Appendix B: What Happens When Talent Search Projects Shut Down? B-1
Appendix C: Additional Information on Talent Search Services and Activities C-1
Appendix D: National Information on the Educational Opportunity Centers Program. D-1

Tables

Table   Page
1.1 Trio Funding, Number of Grants, Average Award, Amount Per Person Served, and Number Funded to Serve: 2000-01 4
1.2 Response Rates to Project Survey and Performance Reports, by Host Type 7
2.1 Talent Search Summary Statistics: 1967-2000 12
2.2 Number of Projects, Average Grant Funds, and Number of Participants, by Type of Host Insitution: 1999-2000 18
2.3 Trio Program Eligibility Criteria Before October 1981 20
2.4 Talent Search Project Performance Outcomes Used for Experience Determination 23
2.5 Previous Studies of Talent Search 31
3.1 Distribution of Talent Search Projects by Primary Area Served: 2000 35
3.2 Number of Talent Search Projects and Participants by Grantee Host Federal Region, Performance Report Data: 1999 36
3.3 Number of Talent Search Projects Hosted at Postsecondary Educational Institutions and Number of IPEDS Degree-Granting Institutions, by Type of Institution: 1999 37
3.4 Distribution of Talent Search Grantees Hosted at Educational Institutions by Carnegie Classification: 1999 39
3.5 Median Enrollment at Talent Search Host Institutions and All IPEDS Institutions, by Federal Region: 1999 40
3.6 Percentage of Minority Enrollment at Talent Search Host Institutions and All IPEDS Institutions, by Federal Region: 1999 41
3.7 Percentage of Black Student Enrollment at Talent Search Host Institutions and All IPEDS Institutions, by Federal Region: 1999 41
3.8 Number of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) Serving as Talent Search Hosts and HBCUs as a Percent of All Talent Search Hosts and All IPEDS Institutions, by Federal Region: 1999 42
3.9 Percentage of Hispanic and Latino Enrollment at Talent Search Grantees and IPEDS Institutions, by Federal Region: 1999 43
3.10 Number of Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) Serving as Talent Search Hosts and HSIs as a Percent of All Talent Search Hosts and All IPEDS Institutions, by Federal Region: 1999 44
3.11 Percentage of Asian and Pacific Islander Student Enrollment at Talent Search Grantees and IPEDS Institutions, by Federal Region: 1999 45
3.12 Percentage of American Indian and Alaska Native Enrollment at Talent Search Grantees and IPEDS Institutions, by Federal Region: 1999 45
3.13 Percentage of Talent Search Host Institutions that Administered Additional Programs for Disadvantaged Persons: 2000 46
3.14 Number of Target Schools and Agencies from Which Project Drew Participants, as Reported in Project Survey: 1999-2000 47
3.15 Distribution of Talent Search Target Schools and All Secondary Schools by Geographic Location: 1998-99 49
3.16 Minority Enrollment in Talent Search Target Schools, All Other Secondary Schools, and All Secondary Schools, by State: 1998-99 50
3.17 Percentage of Students Eligible for the Federal Free-Lunch Program in Talent Search Target Schools, All Other Secondary Schools, and All Secondary Schools, by State: 1998-99 52
3.18 School Lunch Program Eligibility Rates at Talent Search Target Schools, by Type of Host Institution: 1998-99 53
3.19 Comparison of the Distributions of Talent Search Target Schools and All Secondary Schools in Terms of the Percentage of Students Eligible for the School Lunch Program: 1998-99 53
3.20 Average Number of Students Per Teacher in Talent Search Target Schools, All Other Secondary Schools, and All Secondary Schools, by State: 1998-99 54
3.21 Estimated Number and Percentage of Students Eligible for Free-Lunch Program Who Are Served by Talent Search: 1999 57
3.22 Estimates of the Percent of Children Served by Talent Search 58
3.23 Percent of Talent Search Projects that Reported Other Schools in Their Area Could Benefit from the Program, But Could not Be Served Due to Lack of Resources 59
4.1 Project Staff Levels and Participants Per Staff, by Type of Host Insitution: 1999-2000 66
4.2 Talent Search Projects' Use of Volunteers, Work-Study Students, and Other Part-Time Undergraduate Student Employees: 1998-99 68
4.3 Number of Staff and Number of Fte Staff Per Project, Percent Distribution of Fte Staff, and Years of Experience, by Position: 1999-2000 69
4.4 Percentage of Talent Search Staff by Highest Level of Education, by Type of Host and by Position: 1999-2000 74
4.5 Talent Search Mean, Median, and 75th Percentile Salaries, by Position: 2000 75
4.6 Percentage of Talent Search Projects Where Staff Sometimes Use a Language Other Than English to Communicate with Participants, and the Languages Used, by Host Type: 1999-2000 76
4.7 Talent Search Project Directors' and Coordinators' Experience Directing or Coordinating Talent Search and Similar Programs, as of 1999-2000 76
4.8 Talent Search Project Directors' and Coordinators' Experience Serving in Capacity Other Than Director or Coordinator for Talent Search and Similar Programs, as of 1999-2000 77
4.9 Estimated Total Costs of Talent Search by Source of Support: 2000 Dollars 82
5.1 Participant Race/Ethnicity: 1998-99 91
5.2 Participant Age, by Type of Host Institution: 1998-99 91
5.3 Participant Grade Level, by Type of Host Institution: 1998-99 92
5.4 Number of Talent Search Projects Serving Various Percentages of Middle School and High School Participants: 1998-99 93
5.5 Participant Distribution by Eligibility Status and Type of Host Institution: 1998-99 94
5.6 Percent of Individuals Targeted Who Apply to Talent Search, and Percent of Applicants Who Become Participants, by Grade Level: 1998-99 96
5.7 Percent of Talent Search Projects that Emphasize Targeting Persons with Specified Characteristics 97
5.8 Percentage of Talent Search Projects that Disqualify Individuals from Participating in the Program for Various Reasons 98
5.9 Percent of Talent Search Projects Using Selected Recruitment Methods: 1999-2000 101
5.10 Talent Search Recruitment Strategy with Regard to Eligibility: 1999-2000 101
5.11 Percent of Talent Search Projects that Require or Consider Specified Items When Formally Admitting Participants: 1999-2000 103
5.12 Percent of Talent Search Projects that Reported Various Requirements as a Minimum for Ongoing Participation 104
5.13 Examples of the Forms that Two Talent Search Projects Used to Assess Students' Needs 109
6.1 Provision of Academic Support Services 112
6.2 Projects' Ratings of Current Priorities for Working with Various Participants and Providing Various Services, and How Likely They Would Be to Increase Their Emphasis on These Groups and Services If They Had More Resources 113
6.3 Provision of Personal and Career Development Services 116
6.4 Provision of Financial Aid Services: 1998-99 119
6.5 Provision of Fee Waivers 121
6.6 Provision of Summer Services 122
6.7 Ways in Which Talent Search Projects Communicated with Participants' Parents: 1998-99 126
6.8 Frequency of Contact During 1998-99 (As of April 9, 1999), for Three Target High Schools in One Project 129
6.9 Hours Spent in Talent Search Services/Activities: 1998-99 131
6.10 Talent Search Projects' Ability to Provide Requested Services 132
6.11 Specific Topics of Project C's Workshop Curriculum, by Subject Area and Grade Level 138
6.12 Number of Workshops Planned for 1998-99, by Grade Level, at Two Target Schools in the Same Talent Search Project 140
6.13 Service Plans for Sophomores at Two High Schools Within the Same Talent Search Project, But Served by Different Staff Members: 1998-99 141
7.1 Goals Set by Talent Search Projects for Major Participant Outcomes: 1998-99 147
7.2 Additional Outcome Objectives 148
7.3 Talent Search Projects' Success in Meeting Goals for Major Participant Outcomes: 1998-99 150
7.4 Expected Fall 1999 Status of Participants Who Had Graduated from High School or Received a GED by Spring 1999 151
7.5 Types of Postsecondary Institutions that High School Graduates and Postsecondary Re-Entry Students Planned to Attend: 1998-99 152
7.6 Ged Preparation and Outcomes: 1998-99 153
7.7 Participant Information that Talent Search Projects Have Attempted to Measure 161
7.8 Information that Talent Search Projects Tracked or Monitored on Program Participants 162
7.9 How Talent Search Projects Maintained Data on Active Participants 163
7.10 Types of Evaluations Performed for Talent Search Projects 165
7.11 Information Used to Evaluate Talent Search Projects' Success in Meeting Their Goals and Objectives 166

Figures

Figure   Page
2.1 Trio Funding in Millions of Current Dollars: 1967-2000 13
2.2 Trio Funding in Millions of Constant 2000 Dollars: 1967-2000 14
2.3 Number of Talent Search Participants and Number of Projects: 1967-2000 15
2.4 Funding Per Project in Current and Constant 2000 Dollars: 1967-2000 16
2.5 Number of Participants Per Project and Total Number Served Nationwide by Talent Search: 1967-2000 17
2.6 Talent Search Funding Per Participant in Current and Constant 2000 Dollars: 1967-2000 18
3.1 Distribution of Talent Search Projects by Grantee Type: 1973-74 and 1999-2000 35
3.2 Percent of Institutions with Talent Search Grants, by Carnegie Classification: 1999 38
3.3 Percentage of Talent Search Projects Reporting that Host Institutions Administered Additional Programs for Disadvantaged Persons: 2000 47
3.4 Median Number of Target Schools Per Project, by Type of Host Institution: 1998-99 48
3.5 Distribution of Talent Search Target Schools by Grade Levels in School: 1998-99 55
4.1 Percent Distribution of the First Year of Operation of Talent Search Projects Operating in 1999-2000 65
4.2 Estimated Number of Staff and Number Per Project, by Type of Host Institution: 2000 66
4.3 Percentage of Talent Search Project Staff by Gender: 1999-2000 72
4.4 Percentage of Talent Search Staff by Race and Ethnicity: 1999-2000 73
4.5 Percentage of Talent Search Staff with Advanced Degrees, by Selected Position: 1999-2000 74
4.6 Percentage of Talent Search Project Directors and Coordinators Who Also Served as Directors or Administrators for Other Student Programs at the Host Institution or Organization, by Host Type: 1999-2000 78
4.7 Estimated Average Time Allocation of Total Project Staff: 1999-2000 79
4.8 Project Directors' and Coordinators' Estimated Actual and Ideal Time Allocation Among Various Activities: 1999-2000 80
4.9 Percentage of Projects that Reported Having An External Board Providing Advice and Support to the Project: 1999-2000 81
4.10 Allocation of Talent Search Grant Money by Budget Category: 1998-99 82
5.1 Distribution of Talent Search Participants by Gender: 1998-99 90
5.2 Distribution of Talent Search Participants Between New and Continuing Participants: 1998-99 95
7.1 Percentage of Talent Search Projects that Have Had An External Evaluation Conducted 164

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Last Modified: 05/28/2004