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About Upward Bound

Upward Bound (UB) is a year-round, multi-year program designed for high school students who have the potential to succeed in college and could benefit from: tutoring, academic enrichment, pre-college skills development, career counseling, college visits, cultural enrichment and year-round academic and social support. UB provides opportunities for its scholars to succeed in high school and ultimately in college. The goal of UB is to increase the number of scholars that enroll in and graduate from college. There are 770 UB programs in the United States that serve over 56,000 students. Upward Bound serves high school students from low-income families, high school students from families in which neither parent holds a bachelors degree, and low-income, first-generation military veterans who are preparing to enter postsecondary education.

Program Services

The Upward Bound Program offers its services to students year-round. The program is broken up into two major components plus special events:

  • Academic Year: Twenty-week Saturday instructional/tutorial program
  • Summer Session: Six-week summer residential program
  • Yearly Events: Special events held for Upward Bound participants

Both the academic and summer components are designed to assist participants in successfully matriculating to postsecondary education. Curriculum emphasis is placed on reading, mathematics, laboratory sciences, composition & literature, computer application and foreign language. Centered in the areas of study skills development, career planning, health education, physical education and multiculturalism will be supplemental instruction and workshops. Instruction and tutorials will also focus on PSAT, SAT, and ACT test preparation, skills which are necessary for college admission. Additionally, career exploration, work experience, and mentoring will be an integral component to assist participants in deciding on potential college majors and career options.

Evidence of Achievement

Students in the Upward Bound program are four times more likely to earn an undergraduate degree than those students from similar backgrounds who did not participate in TRIO.

History of the Federal TRIO Programs

The history of TRIO is progressive. It began with Upward Bound, which emerged out of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 in response to the administration's War on Poverty. In 1965, Talent Search, the second outreach program, was created as part of the Higher Education Act. In 1968, Student Support Services, which was originally known as Special Services for Disadvantaged Students, was authorized by the Higher Education Amendments and became the third in a series of educational opportunity programs. By the late 1960's, the term "TRIO" was coined to describe these federal programs.

Over the years, the TRIO Programs have been expanded and improved to provide a wider range of services and to reach more students who need assistance. The Higher Education Amendments of 1972 added the fourth program to the TRIO group by authorizing the Educational Opportunity Centers. The 1976 Education Amendments authorized the Training Program for Federal TRIO Programs, initially known as the Training Program for Special Programs Staff and Leadership Personnel. Amendments in 1986 added the sixth program, the Ronald E. McNair Post baccalaureate Achievement Program. Additionally, in 1990, the Department created the Upward Bound Math/Science program to address the need for specific instruction in the fields of math and science. The Upward Bound Math/Science program is administered under the same regulations as the regular Upward Bound program, but it must be applied for separately. The Higher Education Amendments of 1998 authorized the TRIO Dissemination Partnership program to encourage the replication of successful practices of TRIO programs. Finally, the Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2001 amended the Student Support Services (SSS) program to permit the use of program funds for direct financial assistance (Grant Aid) for current SSS participants who are receiving Federal Pell Grants.

The legislative requirements for all federal TRIO programs can be found in the Higher Education Act of 1965, Title IV, Part A, Subpart 2. The requirements for the SSS Grant Aid can be found in Public Law 106-554.

In 1968, Upward Bound was established at UMass Dartmouth. Funded entirely by Federal TRIO dollars, UB serves a total of 80 students from New Bedford High School, Greater New Bedford Vocational-Tech, Wareham High School and Global Learning Charter High School. As the host institution, UMass Dartmouth provides administrative support, use of the facility and office space.

UB is a federally funded TRIO program. The federal TRIO programs are educational opportunity outreach programs designed to motivate and support eligible students to enter and graduate from college. trio includes six outreach and support programs that serve and assist eligible students to progress from middle school to high school, high school to college and college to graduate school. Established in 1965 under President Lyndon B. Johnson, Upward Bound was the first of the six TRIO programs.

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