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ACCESS TO HIGHER ED
Here are a couple more important programs
The staff of Minnesota TRIO read the Dec. 4 editorial about College Possible and Project SUCCESS and applauds these homegrown college access programs. However, we want to draw readers’ attention to federally funded TRIO programs like Upward Bound and Educational Talent Search, both of which have a proven history of assisting low-income and first-generation students in accessing higher education since their inception in 1964. Project Success and College Possible are modeled after these innovative TRIO programs. There are 14 High School Upward Bound and five Educational Talent Search programs serving 3,270 students at approximately 20 junior high and high schools in the metro area alone, annually. These college-access programs provide tutoring, academic advising, ACT preparation, information on financial aid, visits to area colleges, and free college courses through Summer Bridge programs.
Because of these worthwhile services, program data shows that high school graduation rates and college attendance for students participating in TRIO programs exceeds both the state and national average. However, as a result of sequestration, hundreds of students across the metro area lost services due to shrinking budgets; fewer students are being served today than were a year ago. As we near our 50th anniversary, TRIO programs continue to guide students through high school completion while providing a vital pipeline to college access and success. TRIO staff, many who share the same first-generation and low-income backgrounds as the students served, are committed to student success and are working diligently to ensure that Minnesota students continue to have access to services.
Dory Pohl; president, Minnesota TRIO
Surprisingly, it’s in the shadows
For those of us who fight lung cancer and advocate for families hurt by the disease, the Dec. 10 article “Not all lung tumors deadly” came as a welcome surprise. “Welcome” because this disease has been hidden in the shadows for far too long and has earned its avoidable title as deadliest cancer because of its relative obscurity in society. “Surprise” because it isn’t often that major newspapers highlight this disease, even though it seems like news to those of us who watch excellent people, smokers and nonsmokers, die of lung cancer at alarming rates.
One correction: While it’s true that more than 200,000 Americans are diagnosed with lung cancer each year (3,000 Minnesotans), it is an understatement to say more than half of them die. The current five-year survival rate is around 16 percent.
NANCY TORRISON, Wayzata
The writer is executive director of A Breath of Hope Lung Foundation.
The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.