Upward Bound is an academic program designed to make educational opportunities available to participants who meet guidelines set by the federal government. The guidelines demand that neither of the participant's parents has a degree from four-year college and/or the participant must come from a family that meets low income requirements, the participant must have good academic potential and have the desire to pursue a higher education. Reinforcing the Program goals, all participants in the Program will be referred to as Scholars.
Scholars are selected through a competitive application and interview process usually at the end of their eighth grade year. Scholars may be accepted up until the second semester of their tenth grade year. At the time of acceptance, an Individual Service Plan (ISP) is developed for each participant to provide a framework for staff in making decisions regarding academic interventions and support services.
The Upward Bound Program is a year round program consisting of two main components: the Academic Year component and the Summer Academic Year component. During the academic year, participants are provided a variety of services ranging from individual tutoring, to career advising, to SAT and MCAS prep, to cultural enrichment and much more. It is required that participants actively participate in all scheduled activities as instructed throughout the school year including monthly participation in Saturday Academic Sessions. The goal is to be certain every participant achieves their highest academic potential in each year of high school and to establish healthy habits for seeking academic support which will help sustain that success throughout college.
The summer component is a challenging six-week academic program. During the summer component, participants live in a dormitory on the UMass Dartmouth campus and participate in the academic courses and enrichment activities which will provide a foundation for their up-coming school year. Entering high school freshman participate in similar and appropriate experience but are in the non-residential component.
Skill levels in literature, English composition, Lab sciences, Mathematics, Foreign Language, Computers and Personal Development are advanced for every participant during this part of the program. All this while relationship skills are developed, tested and broadened under the direction and guidance of trained Residential and Professional staff.
All participants' progress is constantly monitored. Juniors are provided support and financial help in applying for their SAT exams. Seniors are provided extensive support and financial help in applying for colleges and in applying for financial aid. Each scholar in the program will be afforded ample support to ensure they get into and graduate from the university or college they choose.