Trio programs are funded by the U.S. Department of Education.
1. Project EXCEL
Project EXCEL is a program of support services designed to help students complete their program of study at VHCC.
The mission of Project EXCEL is to increase the retention and graduation rates of eligible students, increase the transfer rate of eligible students to four-year colleges, and to foster an institutional climate supportive of the success of eligible students. The services offered include peer tutoring, career counseling, personal counseling, transfer counseling, cultural enrichment, and accommodations for the disabled.
Project EXCEL is supported by federal funds and is mandated to address the individual needs of students who qualify for the program. To qualify for the program and participate in the services, a student need meet only one of the following criteria: have a documented disability, taxable income meets U.S. Department of Education guidelines for low income, or be from a family in which neither parent has received a bachelor’s degree. All students qualifying for Project EXCEL must have an academic need.
Participants with documented disabilities (physical or learning) are eligible for programs such as taped textbooks, notetakers, taped lectures, and alternate testing (untimed, out-of-class, oral, scribed). Accommodations for any student with a disability are arranged on an individual basis.
2. Educational Talent Search
Educational Talent Search is 100% funded by a U.S. Department of Education $308,337 annual grant that provides information, support, and guidance to assist qualified middle and high school students in completing high school and enrolling in post-secondary education.
Services provided include: academic and career counseling, tutoring, SAT preparation workshops, career planning and assessment services, and study skills training. Participating students also receive college information and assistance in completing financial aid applications. All services are free to qualified students.
The Virginia Highlands Educational Talent Search project is authorized to serve 700 students in the Virginia Highlands Community College region. The Educational Talent Search Office is located in OTC 229, (276) 739-2564.
3. Upward Bound
Upward Bound is 100% funded by a U.S. Department of Education $262,000 annual grant designed to assist students in completing their high school educations and succeeding in college. Participating high school students receive tutoring and counseling services and attend a six-week summer enrichment program on the VHCC campus.
To qualify for the Upward Bound project, students must meet federal low-income guidelines or be from families in which neither parent has earned a bachelor’s degree. All services are free to qualified students.
The Virginia Highlands Upward Bound project is authorized to serve 65 students in specific schools in Washington County, Smyth County, and the city of Bristol, VA. The Upward Bound Office is located in OTC 231, (276) 739-2564.