May 10, 2012
The U.S. Department of Education has awarded Humboldt State University’s Upward Bound program a $1.25 million grant to continue its initiatives that help disadvantaged youths attend college.
The five-year grant will support college preparation, academic tutoring and financial counseling for 60 local high school students interested in pursuing higher education.
Upward Bound is one of eight federal TRIO programs offered through the federal Department of Education that help low-income individuals, first-generation college students and those with disabilities attend college.
“In addition to breaking new ground and wrestling with uncharted territory, today’s first generation college students also have to deal with increasing college costs,” says Upward Bound Director and graduate Jen Dyke. “What TRIO Upward Bound does is help students overcome some of these barriers by helping them gain the confidence and academic discipline they need to succeed in college.”
HSU’s Upward Bound program provides free counseling and advising to eligible students at six area high schools: Arcata, Hoopa Valley, South Fork, Trinity, Southern Trinity and Hayfork.
In the past two years, 97 percent of participants have graduated from high school. This fall, 85 percent of graduates are expected to enroll in college, up from 73 percent last year, Dyke says.
That success is due in part to a recent push by Upward Bound staff to encourage high school students to complete California’s A-G requirements, Dyke says. Students who receive a grade of C or better in the general education courses are minimally eligible for admission to the California State University and University of California systems.
Increased math and English tutoring has also decreased the number of students required to take remedial courses in college, Dyke says.
The year-round program is divided into two parts. During the five-week summer session, students live in HSU residence halls and participate in academic, social, recreational and cultural activities.
During the academic year, they receive tutoring, academic advising, college and career exploration and financial aid mentoring from Upward Bound staff during school visits.
In addition to Upward Bound, Humboldt offers two other TRIO Programs: Talent Search and Student Support Services. Both also receive federal funding.