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U.S. Department of Education Renews Grants for Upward Bound at Gadsden State

GADSDEN— A Gadsden State Community College program has been informed that grants from the U.S. Department of Education were renewed for another five years. The Upward Bound programs at the Ayers Campus in Anniston and the Wallace Drive Campus in Gadsden will receive $711,663 collectively over the next year with a commitment for additional funds for the following four years. All grants are 100 percent funded by the U.S. Department of Education.

“Thanks to the funding from the U.S. Department of Education, Upward Bound can continue to identify and provide services to individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds,” said Pam Johnson, dean of Institutional Effectiveness, Grants, and Special Projects. “I’m proud of the important role Upward Bound plays in preparing high-school students for college so that they can become self-sufficient, successful, and productive members of our communities.”

Upward Bound provides fundamental support to participants in their preparation for college entrance and serves high school students from low-income families. It also focuses on students who will be first-generation college students.

“Upward Bound seeks to help high school students graduate successfully from secondary institutions and increase the retention and graduation rates at those institutions,” Johnson said.

Upward Bound provides academic instruction in math, laboratory sciences, composition, literature, and foreign languages.

“Tutoring, counseling, mentoring, cultural enrichment, and work-study programs are also part of the services,” she said.

There are three phases of Upward Bound programming available to high school students. The academic phase consists of 12 Saturday sessions that are designed to enhance student's skills in their high school core classes. This phase includes after-school tutoring as well.

The summer phase is a six-week program in June and July that provides students with a simulated college experience that may include a residential experience. Special features of the program are life skills, research projects, college tours, and professional and career counseling.

The third phase – Career Work Study Program – is only available for participants in the Wallace Drive Campus program. It takes place concurrently with the summer phase. The program gives participants part-time opportunities to work in an environment that reflects their career choice while being paid by Upward Bound.

“In addition, Upward Bound graduates will experience the process of admissions, placement testing, registration, and advisement at Gadsden State, and they will enroll in a pre-paid course at the College,”

Johnson said.

The Upward Bound Ayers Campus Program will receive $297,601 in funding. It serves students from five target high schools in Calhoun County: Anniston, Oxford, Saks, Wellborn, and White Plains. The program was established in 1999 and has been successfully funded for 23 years.

The Upward Bound Wallace Drive Campus Program will receive $414,062 in funding. It serves students in Etowah High School, Gadsden City High School, Gaston High School, and Glencoe High School. It has been 100 percent funded by the U.S. Department of Education since its inception in 1973.

Both Upward Bound programs are a part of TRIO, a group of programs developed to help students overcome economic, education, and social barriers to higher education. Other TRIO programs at Gadsden State include Student Support Services, Veterans Upward Bound, Educational Talent Search, and the Cheaha Educational Opportunity Center.

For more information, visit (From Director of Public Relations and Marketing Gadsden State Community College)

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