ABERDEEN, S.D. – A Northern State University program designed to motivate and support students through their educational years has received renewed funding.
The Upward Bound program will receive $289,058 annually for the next five years starting Sept. 1. The U.S. Department of Education grant funds the entire program.
Upward Bound is one of eight federal TRiO programs, which provide services for people from disadvantaged backgrounds. Northern’s Upward Bound program, established in 1999, serves first-generation college students as well as those who are low-income. The goal is to help these students prepare for, enroll in and graduate from college.
Right now, Northern’s program serves 65 students. When the new grant cycle starts Sept. 1, it will be funded to serve 68 students. The free program serves students in grades 9-12 from Aberdeen Central, Britton-Hecla, Doland, Frederick, Langford, Waubay, Webster, Wilmot and Sisseton high schools.
Every summer, Upward Bound students take part in a six-week program including courses in math, science and English, as well as cultural activities, while living on campus at NSU, said Rocky Burkett, Upward Bound coordinator. This year’s summer program will be June 3-July 12 at NSU. The students are taken to visit colleges and universities of all types – public and private – and to cultural locations such as museums. They perform community service projects, job shadow at various businesses and receive help with financial literacy. During the school year, Upward Bound staff meets with students and provides help such as tutoring, mentoring and ACT test preparation.
The summer after their senior year, Upward Bound students can take NSU classes for credit, paid for by the program – even if they don’t choose to enroll at NSU in the fall. But a lot do end up attending Northern because they become familiar with the campus, Burkett said. Last fall, for instance, nine of the roughly 16 Upward Bound seniors went to Northern, with the rest attending other regional universities, he said.
For more information on NSU’s Upward Bound program, call 605-626-3299 or visit this link.