Upward Bound Puts Students on Path to College

Upward Bound has been a summer fixture on campus for a long time, but it is far more than just summer program.

Since 1966, Truman has participated in Upward Bound, a federal program designed to encourage college participation. Qualifying students from 11 area high schools are eligible to attend. They enter the program their sophomore year and remain active until they graduate high school.

Forty-nine students were on campus this year for the regular summer session with five more high school graduates attending the Bridge session, which affords them the opportunity to take four-six college credits. Students participating in the summer session, which spans six weeks in June and July, stay on campus during the week and return home each weekend.

While on campus, students take classes in math, foreign language, literary criticism, composition and lab science. Other activities include interest groups, such as cooking or fitness, study periods, an annual variety show, a two-day college visit/cultural trip and a banquet on the final evening of the session.  

Summer is not the only time Upward Bound is active. During the academic year, participating students are organized into six school centers for after school meetings. The Upward Bound staff travel to the students and conduct 28 academic year meetings that provide services such as tutoring, ACT preparation, assistance in applying to colleges and help with FAFSA completion, among others. Recently some of the meetings have become “virtual” and students are allowed to complete assignments and participate in Upward Bound’s course on Blackboard.

Approximately 90 percent of students in Truman’s Upward Bound program end up attending college, usually in Missouri. Four students from the most recent class will attend Truman in the fall.

Upward Bound receives most of its funding through a federal grant, with supplemental assistance from Truman, primarily in the form of in-kind support. Nationwide, 20 percent of Upward Bound programs were defunded in the past year, however, Truman’s program was recently awarded a five-year grant that will offer support through 2018. Truman’s application received a perfect score.

Schools participating in Truman’s program include: Brashear, Knox County, Schuyler County, Putnam County, Green City, Milan, La Plata, Macon, Northeast Randolph (Cairo), Westran (Huntsville) and Moberly.

For more information, visit ub.truman.edu.