college access

TalentED Project supports college access and success

Partnership aims to deliver free online platform addressing challenges faced by lower-income, first-generation college students

A new technology platform called the TalentED Project is designed to help match lower-income, first-generation college students with top institutions that are a good fit for them.

The relationship-based tool connects admissions recruiters with college access professionals (guidance counselors and nonprofit leaders) in order to strengthen the recruitment pipeline of high-potential students.

The program is a partnership between UBS, the Tennessee College Access & Success Network (TCASN) and Discovery Education, and seeks to address challenges that lower-income, first-generation students face in identifying colleges and universities where they are more likely to receive the support services needed to graduate.

Vanderbilt, Swarthmore, and Butler are among the growing list of colleges and universities, along with college access professionals from 30 cities, who have participated since the regional pilot this past fall.

The site enables higher education institutions to recruit students in their junior year, earlier than the traditional recruitment cycle. It also expands connections between professionals working on behalf of students, and mitigates the challenges associated with undermatching – when academically capable students do not apply to selective schools for which they would be eligible and have a strong potential to succeed. The site synthesizes key information about institutions, including affordability and retention.

“The impact of a bachelor’s degree on an individual’s economic and social mobility, and the benefits to our country as a result, are well documented,” said Bob McCann, Chairman UBS Americas. “This program aims to maximize the untapped potential of thousands of talented young people, particularly those who will be the first in their family to attend college.”

“High school counselors, teachers and nonprofit staff play a critical role in supporting students in the admissions process,” said Bob Obrohta, TCASN Executive Director. “This site strengthens relationships between access organizations and admissions recruiters nationwide to make the recruitment process more effective and efficient for everyone – both professionals and students.”

“Discovery Education is proud to support The TalentED Project as it creates new opportunities of access for first-generation, lower-income college students on their path to lifelong success,” said Lori McFarling, Senior Vice President, Discovery Education. “In today’s competitive job market, a higher level education is more valuable than ever, and this program will help students of all backgrounds realize their potential and increase their chances for college attainment.”

The TalentED Project is a fully-funded program that was built with feedback from over 150 access and admissions professionals. It is a part of UBS NextGen Leaders, the firm’s $10 million initiative to increase college graduation among first-generation and lower-income college-goers. TCASN serves as the project’s lead content and implementation partner, and Discovery Education leads the technical development of the platform along with raising awareness of the program’s innovative resources to its nationwide community of educators and students.

Laura Ascione