Madisonville Community College has been awarded the Federal TRiO Talent Search grant from the US Department of Education. The first year of the grant is for $419,391 and the total five-year award is worth $2,096,955. Project activities will run from Sept. 1 of this year through Aug. of 2026.

“We are thrilled to be able to continue this work identifying talented students with the potential to succeed in postsecondary education,” said MCC President Dr. Cindy Kelley. “We know that earning a college degree leads to better outcomes for career opportunities, health, and quality of life. The college appreciates all of the school districts who provide our staff with access to their students for this important work.”

The project’s goals are to serve 756 middle and high school students with a focus on low-income students and potential first-generation college students. In order to address these needs, the program will conduct monthly workshops, individual advising sessions, college campus tours, cultural exposure, coordination with academic initiatives, and summer enrichment opportunities.

Talent Search program director Christian Cates shared these thoughts on the funding announcement, “The MCC Talent Search has been prepping western Kentucky students for college for over 35 years. We are proud to be a part of the countless testimonies and success stories which our program has helped fuel. We are excited for the opportunity to continue to help underrepresented students set goals and achieve them, especially now after the past year of struggles and trying times we have all encountered.”

The Talent Search program was created in 1965 as a part of the Higher Education Act. Since then, the program has identified and assisted thousands of students from disadvantaged backgrounds who have the potential to succeed in higher education. The college’s program first received funding in 1985 and is one of the longest continuously operating programs in the region.

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