Model & Strategy

The Thomas University Talent Search Program is a federally funded TRiO grant, providing services beginning in middle school to increase the percentage of students attending postsecondary education.

Our Impact

Vela examined the services and duration of students in Talent Search and explored the potential relationships between service participation and postsecondary education enrollment.


Thomas University provides Talent Search programming to students attending four rural south Georgia high schools. The goal of Talent Search is to identify and assist individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds who have the potential to succeed in higher education.

The entire Talent Search cohort of seniors who graduated in spring of 2020 consisted of 58 students. These students were served by Thomas University Talent search in varying amounts during high school. The average number of service hours received during the program was 105. The number of service events students participated in also varied greatly across the 58 students.

Eighty three percent of Talent Search students (50) who graduated in spring of 2020 went on to enroll in postsecondary education. This number is very high in comparison to national averages for students from rural settings and students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Eighty one percent of students who enrolled in college enrolled at a 4-year institution, and 19% of students enrolled at a 2-year institution.