Education opens many doors, enriches lives and helps to better understand the world around us. There are many young people who dream of getting higher education, but many do not know what comes next after graduation from High School. That is why; it is good to know that Marshalltown Community College offers such a great program called Marshalltown Education Partnership.
“Marshalltown Education Partnership (MEP) is a unique program in our town. MEP identifies and assists disadvantaged, first generation students at Marshalltown High School who have a potential to attend college and succeed,” Marisol Agüero, MEP Program coordinator, explained.
According to the Program’s website, “Members of Marshalltown Education Partnership believe that tomorrow’s community leaders and future workforce will come from the talented young people currently enrolled in Marshalltown schools.” That’s is why, this program looks to help those leaders of tomorrow to achieve higher education through providing necessary resources for them to finish high school and receive a college education.
“Another unique aspect of MEP is its community funding,” Agüero said through e-mail. “The partnership consists of several organizations and companies that have allowed MEP to continue to grow and expand opportunities for our participants. It is through several generous donations that our students are able to receive our outreach in high school and 1/2 tuition scholarships in college.”
Agüero explained that MEP was based on the San Antonio Partnership program from San Antonio, TX. In 2005 there were plans to start the program in Marshalltown. At the beginning, only 8 students received the help they needed. Over the years the program grew and now around 440 students participate in this program. Since its beginning this program has given $445,000 in MEP scholarships.
The following are eligibility requirements for MEP: students are required to sign a Commitment to Excellence Contract during 8th grade year or before they finish the first semester of the 9th grade (this contract states that the student will meet the requirement of established standards of attendance and scholarship. Parents also sign a contract as a written promise to follow the rules set by the Education Partnership. You can find more information about the Commitment to Excellence Contract on the MEP website); students have to be first generation college student (meaning neither parent have completed 4 year college degree); students have to demonstrate financial need.
If you are or you know someone who meets the eligibility requirements for MEP, you are welcome to apply. In order to apply students need to complete the Commitment to Excellence Contract before finishing the first semester in the 9th grade; students need to submit a proof of income (copy of tax return or free/reduced lunch verification form). After turning in these documents, MEP coordinator will review them and if approved, student will receive an acceptance letter.
Once students get accepted to MEP they will receive many benefits such as guidance in the college application process, group meetings to discuss college preparation and student panels, help with FASFA application, exploration of colleges and careers, educational workshops and help with transfer process to name a few. Parents of MEP students will also get opportunities to meet other parents. In addition, MEP students who show to be successful will be able to receive tuition assistance toward a certificate, diploma or associate degree at Marshalltown Community College.
“Because of MEP many of our students are able to make their dream of attending college a reality,” Agüero said.
Education is a brighter future for everyone. Thanks to programs like the Marshalltown Education Partnership many students who could only dream of attending college now have a real opportunity to make something of themselves.
For more information about MEP or to donate to this program contact Marisol Agüero, MEP program coordinator at 641-754-1130 (ext. 1520) at MHS or 641-844-5798 at MCC. You can also send her email to Marisol.Aguero@iavalley.edu. For information about the program visit their website at https://mcc.iavalley.edu/resources-for-students/mep/