We are The Evergreen State College's only precollege program. Our mission is to support low income high school students in becoming the first in their family to obtain a college degree. Upward Bound is one of the eight federally funded TRiO Programs. Our program is 100% funded by a grant by the U.S. Department of Education.
Our program holds two, five year, Upward Bound Grants, one for Tacoma and the other for Clover Park. The Tacoma Grant services 105 students who attend Foss, Lincoln or Mt. Tahoma High Schools in the Tacoma School District. This grant is funded at $446,000 per year, totaling $2.23 million over the course of five years. The Clover Park Grant services 60 students who all attend Clover Park High School in Lakewood. This grant is funded at a quarter of a million dollars annually, totaling $1,250,000.00 over the course of five years. All of this funding is used to support our students graduating from high school, being accepted into a college, winning the scholarships and grants to finance their education and graduating from college.
Our current grant cycle is from 2012-2017, and uses a cohort style. Most of our students were accepted into the Upward Bound program in 2012 when they were freshmen and have stayed in the program since. Now, in the fall of 2015, the majority our students are seniors and preparing for college next fall. This allows us to customize our programing to the specific needs of each grade.
Creating Pipelines to College
Our program is successful because of the dedicated and constant support we provide our students. Each school is staffed daily with an Education Specialist and/or Site Coordinator. These professionals meet with students, provide programing and plan field trips. In the Tacoma Upward Bound offers an elective class during the first semester. Clover Park is embedded into the weekly advisory classes and all of our students are part of the same classes. This level of classroom support combined with office hours and after school support keeps our students on track for college success.
We also take our students on monthly field trips; provide camps during Winter and Spring breaks and a Six Week Summer program that includes a residential stay and a college tour. During the summer of 2015 over 80 rising Seniors participated in our program which included a two week day camp at The Evergreen State College - Tacoma Campus, a week long college tour and a three week residential stay at The Evergreen State College - Olympia Campus. All of this programming has the focus on increasing our students’ resiliency, sense of self and preparing for college level work.