Q. What does NACEE stand for?

A. NACEE – acronym stands for the North Alabama Center for Educational Excellence – a nonprofit educational support center established to provide pre-college programs for youth and adults.

Q. What programs does NACEE offer?

A. NACEE offers four programs funded by the U.S. Department of Education and one program funded by the State of Alabama.

Educational Opportunity Centers primarily serve displaced or underemployed workers from families with incomes under $33,075. The Centers help individuals to choose a college and a suitable financial aid program. There are 124 Educational Opportunity Centers in America serving 195,000 individuals. A study of EOC participants found that 57% of college-ready students were admitted to institutions of higher learning and 56% of EOC participants who had been college dropouts had re-enrolled.

Upward Bound helps youth prepare for higher education. Participants receive instruction in literature, composition, mathematics, and science on college campuses after school, on Saturdays and during the summer. Currently, 964 projects are in operation throughout the United States. In 2005, 77.3% of all students who participated in Upward Bound programs immediately went to college in the fall following their high school graduations. This rate is even higher by persistence in the program: 91.2% of Upward Bound students who participated in the program for three years or longer and 93% who participated through high school graduation enrolled in a postsecondary program immediately following high school.

Upward Bound Math & Science helps students from low-income families to strengthen math and science skills. In addition, students learn computer technology as well as English, foreign language and study skills. Currently, 117 projects are serving students throughout the country. Overall, 86.5% of students who participated in Upward Bound Math/Science programs go directly to college after graduating from high school. Indeed, 70% of Upward Bound Math/Science programs have postsecondary enrollments of 80% or higher.

The Veterans Upward Bound program provides intensive basic skills development and short-term remedial courses for military veterans to help them successfully transition to postsecondary education. Veterans learn how to secure support from available resources such as the Veterans Administration, veterans associations, and various state and local agencies that serve veterans.

Emerging Scholars’ Program serves young people in grades 6 through 12. In addition to counseling, participants receive information about college admissions requirements, scholarships and various student financial aid programs. This early intervention program helps students from families with incomes under $33,075 (where neither parent graduated from college) to better understand their educational opportunities and options.

Q. What academic support services does NACEE offer?

A. NACEE offers:

College Survival/Study Skills workshops provide individualized or group assistance specifically designed to help students develop the skills necessary to succeed in academic programs.

Tutoring offers individualized or small group academic assistance provided by NACEE staff, volunteers, and college students.

GED/High School Equivalency Preparation provides individualized assistance needed to obtain the knowledge and skills necessary to pass the high school equivalency exam.

ACT Prep class is offered four times per year about two weeks before each national exam. Students receive small group instruction in math, science reasoning, language, and reading.

Personal Counseling provides intervention and assistance with personal problems and decisions.

Mentoring links students with professionals in their potential field of study.  Mentors provide information about his or her own career path, as well as offer guidance, motivation, emotional support, and role modeling

Academic Advising/ Coaching assists students with making educational plans, selecting appropriate courses, meeting academic requirements, and planning for further education.

Career Awareness Activities include field trips, special lectures, and workshops to increase students’ knowledge of various career opportunities.

Financial Aid and VA Benefits Assistance helps participants complete financial aid, veterans’ benefits, and scholarship applications.

Cultural Activities include field trips, special lectures and symposiums that improve participants’ educational, intellectual, and personal development.

Campus Visits to Postsecondary Institutions acquaint students with institutions they may wish to attend.

College Admissions Assistance helps participants complete college entrance applications or other documents for the college admissions process.

College Entrance Exam Preparation is designed to help students meet scoring requirements on national or state standardized tests given to students entering postsecondary institutions.

Informative Workshops include seminars on topics such as: Building Self-Esteem, Peer Pressure, Choosing the Right College or Major, Test-Taking Skills, Job Interviewing Skills, and Time/Stress Management.

Q. What is TRIO?

A. The TRIO Programs are designed to identify promising students (Talent Search), prepare them to do college level work (Upward Bound, Upward Bound Math/Science), provide information on academic and financial aid opportunities to adults (Educational Opportunity Centers), provide tutoring and support services to students once they reach campus (Student Support Services), and support and encourage talented students to pursue a Ph.D. (Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program). As mandated by Congress, over two-thirds of the students must come from families with incomes under $24,000 (family of four) where neither parent graduated from college. Students enrolled in today’s TRIO Programs mirror our nation’s multi-cultural and multiethnic society. Thirty-nine percent of TRIO students are White, 36% are African-American, 16% are Hispanic, 5% are Native American, and 4% are Asian-American. Sixteen thousand TRIO students are disabled. There are more than 25,000 U.S. veterans currently enrolled in the TRIO Programs. TRIO college graduates are working in business, industry, government, medicine, law, education, communications, sales, finance, politics, transportation, publishing, law enforcement, computer science & technology, engineering, and accounting.

Q. What makes TRIO programs different from other educational programs?

A. In many communities, the TRIO Programs are the only programs that help students overcome class, social, academic, and cultural barriers to higher education. The educational and human services offered through TRIO Programs are distinguishable from all other counseling programs in America because they are:

One-On-One: As most TRIO Programs serve fewer than 250 students, TRIO counselors have an opportunity to work one-on-one with each student. Unlike traditional counseling programs, TRIO professionals get to know each student on a first-name basis. TRIO staffs are personally committed to the success of their students.

Performance-Based: Each TRIO Program operates against specific, measurable outcome objectives as clearly defined in each approved grant proposal. TRIO Program Directors are held accountable and must meet their stated objectives each year if they expect to remain funded and able to help participants in their targeted service area.

Focused on Early Intervention: Two of the TRIO Programs, Talent Search and Upward Bound, are early intervention programs. These programs effectively reach students in grades six through 12 who have “college potential” but often do not recognize or understand their academic and career options beyond high school. Each year, these two programs keep thousands of promising young low-income and minority students in school and focused on career and college success.

Designed for First-Generation and Low-Income: Two-thirds of the students in the TRIO Programs come from families with incomes under $24,000,family of four, where neither parent graduated from college. In most cases, parents have no higher education experience, do not understand the post secondary process, and do not necessarily value a higher education.

Built on Relationships: Over a period of several months or years, TRIO Professionals build both personal and professional relationships with their students. Such positive relationships are critical to the success of every TRIO Program. The staff of each TRIO Program creates a climate of support for students as they strive to move out of poverty and dependence. As a result of these strong positive relationships, many TRIO college graduates periodically return to their programs to encourage and inspire current students.

Consistent and Intense: TRIO Programs and TRIO Professionals are consistently available to their students. In fact, some TRIO Programs enable students to meet with counselors during the summer, in the evening or on weekends. Many TRIO Professionals, as part of their specified program objectives, visit students at home to discuss courses or career plans.

Comprehensive & Cultural: The academic and human services as administered through the TRIO Programs are comprehensive and must go far beyond the traditional services offered by high school or college counselors. Many students in the TRIO Programs receive instruction in literature, composition, foreign languages, mathematics and science. In addition, students receive assistance in completing college admission and financial aid applications, tutorial services and exposure to cultural events.

Reality Based: Like their students, many TRIO Professionals had to overcome class, social, academic and cultural barriers to succeed in higher education. As a result, they can effectively relate to their students and know how to motivate young people and adults in spite of the obstacles that often serve to discourage students from low-income families.

Community Based: Community need is determined by the community, not the federal government. TRIO Programs are funded based on clear evidence that the program is needed in a particular community or town. Criteria used in determining need in a specific area include income level, education attainment level, dropout rates, student-to-counselor ratio, social and economic conditions, and overall demographic data.

Non-Bureaucratic: TRIO Programs do not involve a large federal bureaucracy because they are direct grant programs funded in rank order on the basis of competitive proposals. In fact, there is no more than one federal employee for every 28,000 TRIO students now being served. In addition, TRIO Programs only exist where local organizations see the need for such services and have successfully applied for federal support. Despite substantial increases in the number of TRIO students and programs, fewer federal employees are working with TRIO today than 20 years ago.

Q. What educational services does NACEE’s Emerging Scholars’ Program offer students during the summer?

A: ACT-Prep Classes (Six Weeks)

Summer Enrichment Program (Middle & High School – Both 3 Weeks)

Field Trips

Career Day/Guest and/or Motivational Speaker

Talent Showcase

College Tours/Visitations

Q. What educational services do NACEE Upward Bound and Upward Bound Math & Science offer students during the summer?

A: Summer Academic Enrichment Program (6 Weeks)

Field Trips

College Residency

Mentorship Experiences

Talent Showcase

College Tours/Visitations

Q. What services does the Adult Education Program offer?

A. NACEE’s Adult Education Program offers many unique services to working adults who want to complete their secondary education.

Year-round open enrollment

Day and evening classes (48 hours of instruction time per week)

Computer-based instruction with supplemental worksheets upon request

Self-paced and individualized instruction

Assessment test to determine strengths and weaknesses

Preparation for standardized tests: GED, ACT, ASVAB, and Compass

Q. What is the cost for NACEE services?

A. All of NACEE’s general services are FREE! A fee may apply for specialized services or books for prep classes.

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