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UBS Announces The TalentED Project to Drive College Success

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Elizabeth Hillman, Discovery Education

Karina Byrne, UBS

–New partnership with the Tennessee College Access & Success Network and Discovery Education addresses the challenges of lower-income, first-generation college students–

New York, NY – UBS announced today a $2 million commitment to launch The TalentED Project, a new initiative aimed at increasing college success through strategic partnerships with the Tennessee College Access & Success Network (TCASN) and Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms. The TalentED Project, which will launch its pilot in October 2015, is an innovative technology-based solution, designed to increase the recruitment of high-potential, lower-income, first-generation college students. The portal connects college admissions officers with college access professionals enabling them to match talented students to colleges that are a good fit for them.

"The TalentED Project is a new approach to tackling challenges faced by lower-income, first-generation college goers," said Bob McCann, President Americas, UBS. "In partnership with TCASN and Discovery Education, we can help accomplish something that is important to every single person in this country — getting more students into the schools and universities that will put them on the road to lifelong success."

Last year, UBS announced a $10 million, multi-year commitment to building out a platform for college success, UBS NextGen Leaders, with a goal to increase graduation rates among first-generation and lower-income college students. The platform's first initiative, UBS-SEO College Scholars, is an intensive college success program in partnership with SEO Scholars that provides support and resources to a cohort of African American and Hispanic/Latino young men. The TalentED Project is the newest program under UBS NextGen Leaders, with TCASN serving as the project's lead content and implementation partner and Discovery Education leading the technical development of the platform, and playing a key role in raising awareness and distributing these innovative resources to its growing community of educators and students.

The TalentED Project enables admission recruiters to connect with students earlier in the traditional admission process, so that they can more efficiently and effectively recruit them to their campuses. For college access professionals and students, the portal helps in identifying "good fit" colleges and synthesizing information including selectivity, affordability, retention and graduation rates.

“We know from research that college fit – finding a college that meets your academic, financial, social and emotional needs – is critical to college success and completion. High-potential, lower-income, first generation students are not always aware of the many college options available to them,” said Bob Obrohta, TCASN Executive Director. “The TalentED Project, created with input from over 150 college admissions and college access professionals, not only helps these students realize their potential, but it also allows colleges to actively recruit these students to their campuses.”

"Governor Haslam’s Tennessee Promise makes community college free for every high school graduate in Tennessee, the president just took a first step to making it easier for any student to apply for financial aid by letting families use tax information they already have, and UBS is going to connect high school guidance counselors with college admissions officers to help low-income students get into good colleges,” said Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn). “Today’s Tennessee high school students have the best opportunity in history to earn a college degree – and it will be the best investment they’ll ever make."

“Through the Drive to 55 and Tennessee Promise initiatives we are working to change higher education expectations in Tennessee, but this is not just about ‘access’ but also ‘success,’” Governor Bill Haslam said. “We want to do everything we can to empower Tennessee students in their pursuit of a degree and a high quality job, and The TalentED Project creates another avenue to help lower-income, first-generation college students in this effort.”

“Discovery Education is proud to partner with UBS and the Tennessee College Access & Success Network on this important initiative,” said Bill Goodwyn, President and CEO of Discovery Education.  “In today’s global economy, the knowledge and skills acquired through a college education are more valuable than ever.  We are pleased to support this innovative effort to help first-generation, lower-income students across the country increase their chances for success beyond high school graduation.”

The partnership is designed to address challenges that are faced by students when matriculating to selective institutions and persisting to graduation. For the pilot, The TalentED Project aims to have 50 select colleges and universities nationwide, and college access professionals from New Jersey, New York, Tennessee and Chicago, IL.

About UBS
UBS is committed to providing private, institutional and corporate clients worldwide, as well as retail clients in Switzerland, with superior financial advice and solutions while generating attractive and sustainable returns for shareholders. Its strategy centers on its Wealth Management and Wealth Management Americas businesses and its leading universal bank in Switzerland, complemented by its Global Asset Management business and it's Investment Bank. These businesses share three key characteristics: they benefit from a strong competitive position in their targeted markets, are capital-efficient, and offer a superior structural growth and profitability outlook. UBS's strategy builds on the strengths of all of its businesses and focuses its efforts on areas in which it excels, while seeking to capitalize on the compelling growth prospects in the businesses and regions in which it operates. Capital strength is the foundation of its success.

Driven by the mission to increase the number of Tennesseans completing postsecondary opportunities, TCASN aims to establish a college-going culture in communities across the state by removing barriers to higher education, promoting persistence, connecting education and community leaders, and promoting professional education and information sharing.  TCASN’s membership is approximately 150 organizations that represent multiple stakeholder groups committed to college access and success, including K-12 schools, non-profit organizations, higher education institutions, business, and philanthropy.

About Discovery Education
Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content, professional development, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Serving 3 million educators and over 30 million students, Discovery Education’s services are in half of U.S. classrooms, over 40 percent of all primary schools in the UK, and more than 50 countries. Discovery Education partners with districts, states and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that increase academic achievement. Discovery Education is powered by Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the number one nonfiction media company in the world. Explore the future of education at