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Upward Bound At PJC

Published or Revised February 22, 2023

Upward Bound field trip

Upward Bound students on a field trip to Dallas-area art museums.

What Is Upward Bound?

Upward Bound is a highly successful college-preparatory program for grades 9-12, combining intensive academic instruction, individual tutoring and academic enrichment. 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.

How Does It Work?

The PJC Upward Bound program consists of two components: a full-time residential phase, when 86 students come to live on the PJC campus for six weeks during the summer, and an academic year phase, providing a grade level appropriate college readiness curriculum, academic enrichment 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 academic enrichment on selected Saturdays, as well as gaining information and assistance on applying for colleges, financial aid, and more.

How Are Students Selected For Upward Bound?

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.

How Long Does Upward Bound Last?

Upward Bound begins at the time of the student’s selection into the program and continues through the last summer after high school graduation. Students will be enrolled in six hours of college credit to help bridge the gap between high school and college and prepare them for post-secondary education in the fall term immediately following high school graduation.

How Much Does It Cost The Student?

There is no cost to the student concerning tuition, room, board, books, transportation, etc. The only expense to the student is for clothing and personal items during the summer program.

What Are The PJC Upward Bound Target Schools?

  • Avery High School, Avery, Texas
  • Chisum High School, Paris, Texas
  • Clarksville High School, Clarksville, Texas
  • Detroit High School, Detroit, Texas
  • North Lamar High School, Paris, Texas
  • Paris High School, Paris, Texas
  • Prairiland High School, Pattonville, Texas
  • Rivercrest High School, Bogata, Texas

How Do I Contact PJC Upward Bound?

Call 903-782-0355 or fax 903-782-0795.

Staff Members

  • Christi Timberlake, Director
  • Kelvin Hicks, Coordinator
  • Madison Wells, Advisor
  • Robert Spain, TRiO Computer Specialist

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 is an equal opportunity institution and provides educational and employment opportunities without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion or creed, sex, age, national origin, disability, genetics, or veteran status.