Published or Revised August 24, 2016
Upward Bound students pose during a 2010 tour of Dallas Cowboys Stadium.
Upward Bound is a highly successful college-preparatory program for grades 9-12, combining intensive academic instruction, individual tutoring and counseling. The program is designed and funded by the U.S. Department of Education to promote the educational achievement of students from lower income families who would be the first in their household to receive a college degree.
A study found that, nationally, more than 85 percent of Upward Bound graduates enter institutions of higher learning and are more than twice as likely to enroll in college or other post-secondary institutions as students with similar backgrounds. Four years after high school graduation, Upward Bound graduates were four times as likely to have earned an undergraduate degree as students with similar backgrounds who did not participate in the program.
Over 50,000 students participate in more than 700 Upward Bound programs nationwide each year. Paris Junior College is the sponsoring agent for this Upward Bound program, which is administered through the United States Department of Education.
The PJC Upward Bound program consists of two components: a full-time residential phase, when over 70 students come to live on the PJC campus for six weeks during the summer, and an academic year phase, providing follow-up tutoring, counseling and group activities throughout the school year.
The on-campus summer program emphasizes reading and writing skills, math, science, humanities, and foreign language. Art, drama, community service and cultural appreciation experiences and trips may be offered in addition to a recreational program. All experiences are designed to broaden the student’s perspective and self-understanding.
During the school year Upward Bound staff members follow the student’s progress in high school through bi-monthly contacts on campus. Students also receive tutoring and counseling on selected Saturdays, as well as gaining information and assistance on applying for colleges and financial aid.
The PJC Upward Bound program staff receives applications and selects students only from our nine target schools. Students are primarily selected during the 9th grade to allow maximum participation time in the program, but students from any high school grade leve may apply. Recommendations of high school counselors, teachers, social service agencies and others are also used in selecting students. Upward Bound does not seek the straight-A student who will probably go to college. Rather, Upward Bound seeks students whose potential abilities may be lost to society unless they can be motivated to apply their talents and energies constructively. From the large number of applications received, our project staff will strive to choose the students who are genuinely interested in improving their chances for success in college by working hard through all four years in Upward Bound.
Upward Bound begins at the time of the student’s selection into the program and continues through the end of the Bridge Program. The Bridge Program is conducted the final summer after high school graduation. The student will be enrolled in six hours of college credit to help bridge the gap between high school and college and prepare him or her for independent college study.
There is no cost to the student concerning tuition, room, board, books, transportation, etc. The only expense to the student is for clothing, personal items and laundry. Each student has opportunities to earn stipends to offset the expense of personal items.
Upward Bound is funded by the U.S. Department of Education under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965. Paris Junior College Upward Bound is 100 percent federally funded by the U.S. Department of Education. Paris Junior College Upward Bound gives equal consideration to all applicants without regard to race, color, religion, creed, national origin, sex, age, marital status, disability, or veteran status. Assistance is provided to students with limited English speaking abilities, disabilities, or academic deficiencies.