Mr. Charles Summers, an Educational Talent Search Academic Counselor, visits Melbourne High School on a regular basis to provide information on what he terms as the “3 Cs” – Cash, Careers, and Colleges. Educational Talent Search (ETS) is one of eight federally-funded TRIO programs designed to help students overcome social, financial, and cultural barriers in pursuit of a college degree. There are over 363,000 students enrolled in 466 Talent Search Trio Programs nationwide; locally, Melbourne High School is part of a 14 county-wide ETS program that is provided through federal grants. Mr. Summers has been employed by ETS since 1991, working with students in Cotter, Melbourne, Norfork, Rural Special, and Viola school districts and has a M.Ed. degree in health and physical education. He also has 42 hours above his M.Ed. degree in the area of secondary education administration and occasionally serves as an adjunct instructor at ASUMH and North Arkansas College.
The main goal of ETS is to counsel students in grades 7-12 who may be disadvantaged in one way or another and who may lack the motivation to pursue higher education. The idea is to intervene early enough and give consistent support as students move through high school, especially in the areas of personal, academic, career, and college counseling. While a high percentage of ETS students are potential first generation college students from low-income families, any 7th-12th grade student can participate. From helping students to prepare for the ACT and apply for financial aid to guiding them to develop study, time management, and critical thinking skills, Mr. Summers spends a great deal of time in service to MHS and has been instrumental in helping its students succeed and prosper.