Students from Rockford East and Auburn high schools have a unique opportunity to explore college and career paths through a federally funded educational program known as Upward Bound. Rock Valley College’s Upward Bound Program serves 60 students from those two Rockford high schools during the academic year and a with a six week summer program. To participate, students must be entering ninth through twelfth grade.
Students receive tutoring, participate in academic enrichment activities, and attend college tours around the area as well as cultural activities during the school year. The six week summer program provides one week of leadership activities, and four weeks of academic classes and career exploration. Participants also have the opportunity to attend a week long college tour. To end the summer program, selected students participate in a paid three week job shadowing experience.
“Upward Bound not only helps the students who participate by helping them to succeed in higher education, but the program also impacts each family,” says Brenda Fisher, RVC Upward Bound’s Project Director. “The accomplishment of graduating from college changes the family’s future generations and creates a community climate built around the importance of education.”
The Rock Valley College Upward Bound Program is funded by a grant provided through the Federal Department of Education. The program is one of a cluster of programs now referred to as TRiO, all of which owe their existence to the federal Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 and the Higher Education Act of 1965. Upward Bound programs are implemented and monitored by the United States Department of Education. The goal of Upward Bound is to provide certain categories of high school students’ better opportunities for attending college. The categories of greatest concern are those with low income, those with parents who did not attend college, and those living in rural areas. The program works through individual grants, each of which covers a restricted geographic area and provides services to approximately 50 to 100 students annually.
To learn more go to rockvalleycollege.edu/upwardbound.