Cal Poly Educational Talent Search (ETS)

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Visit their website to learn more!

What is ETS?

Educational Talent Search (ETS), a federally funded TRIO program of the U.S. Department of Education, is designed to assist participants in reaching a postsecondary education. It is a program of the Student Academic Services Department in the Student Affairs Division at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo with an annual federal budget of $230,000.
This program serves young people in grades six through twelve. In addition to counseling, participants receive information about college admission requirements, scholarships and various student financial aid programs.

ETS Program Application (PDF)

ETS Aplicacion para el programa (PDF)



The following services are offered for students participating in ETS:
  • College System Information
  • Academic Progress Plans
  • On-line Student Planner
  • Tutorial Assistance/Referral
  • Parent Info. Workshops
  • Pre-SAT Workshops
  • Pre-ACT Workshops
  • Career Information Workshops
  • Student Panel Workshops
  • University Campus Tour


  • US Citizen and/or Permanent Resident
  • First-generation college-bound student
  • Student must attend a participating high school where ETS services are provided
  • Attain/have Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.0 or above
  • Between the ages of 11-27
  • Family meets low-income guidelines* 
*Two-thirds of ETS participants must meet low-income guidelines.
**The term "low-income individual" means an individual whose family's taxable income for the preceding year did not exceed 150% of the poverty level amount.

Schools Served

Middle/Junior High Schools
  • Fesler Junior High School
  • McKenzie Junior High School
  • Mesa Middle School
High Schools
  • Ernest Righetti High School
  • Nipomo High School
  • Pioneer Valley High School
  • Santa Maria High School


The Federal TRIO Programs (TRIO) are funded through the Department of Education and are outreach and student services programs designed to identify and provide services to low-income and first-generation college students to progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to post-baccalaureate programs.

The Cal Poly Educational Talent Search (ETS) program is funded to serve 500 students in grades seven through twelve at seven targeted school sites.  The goal of ETS is to assist junior high and high school youth, who are low-income and/or potential first-generation college students, to graduate from high school and help prepare them for college. Through interactive workshops and informational sessions led by program staff, ETS offers various educational outreach strategies designed to develop participant motivation and supplement their academic preparation. These strategies include; college prep counseling, college admissions requirements, scholarships, various student financial aid programs plus college fieldtrips.


2014-15 Outcomes

  • The Cal Poly Educational Talent Search Program achieved a 100% graduation rate in the 2014-15 project year.
  • The Cal Poly Educational Talent Search Program achieved a 92% post-secondary enrollment rate in the 2014-15 project year.
  • The Cal Poly Educational Talent Search Program achieved an 83% Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) completion rate in the 2014-15 project year.

Beyond Foster Care: Need for Services Beyond the Age of 21

This survey is for California former foster, Independent Living Program (ILP) eligible probation, and dual status youth ages 22 to 35. The purpose of the study is to explore the experiences and need for services of California former foster, ILP eligible probation, and dual status youth who are between the ages of 22 and 35. Participation in the study would last about 20 to 35 minutes. You may choose to withdraw your participation at any time. Your answers will be confidential. The information will be kept in a secure database with no identifying information for the duration of the study. 

The findings of this study will be used to provide suggestions for programs and services that will improve long-term outcomes for former foster, ILP eligible probation, and dual status youth. 

Visit this link in order to complete the survey! 


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