Program prepares students for college — and beyond
Wednesday, 11 June 2014 12:18

CCBC offers Upward Bound to local teens

by Nicole Rodman

    In today’s world, the value of a college education has become clear.
    According to a Pew Research Center analysis of recent census data, young adults with only a high school diploma earn an average of 62 percent of what college graduates earn.
    For young people from low-income families, a college degree could make the difference between maintaining or breaking the cycle of poverty.
    Programs like the federally-funded Upward Bound seek to break that cycle by offering college-preparation resources to low-income students.
    First developed in 1964, Upward Bound was established at CCBC Dundalk in 2003.
    While the local program  primarily services students from Dundalk, Chesapeake, Kenwood and Overlea high schools and Patapsco High School and Center for the Arts, any interested local students may be served.
  

According to Kelley R. Kelly, director of Upward Bound at CCBC Dundalk, the aim of the program is to “increase the rate at which students graduate from secondary education and matriculate to and graduate from institutions of higher education.”
    In addition, the program strives to offer cultural opportunities to students who may not otherwise receive such opportunities.
    The program consists of two components — an academic program and a summer program.
    Both components follow the “Career Academy model.”
    As Kelly explained, “The idea behind this premise is that as an academic enrichment-college preparatory program, our role is to not only assist students with excelling throughout high school or getting into college, but to also lay a foundation of exposure into career exploration.”
    The academic program runs during the school year. Students meet two to three Saturdays per month, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
    During these sessions, students receive tutoring, academic advice, college preparation and help with schoolwork.
    Students also get the opportunity to go on field trips and college visits during the program.
    Recruitment for the academic program is typically done from September to November.
    The summer session usually runs from the third week in June to the first week in August.
    The program runs Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., throughout the six weeks.
    During the summer session, students take courses in mathematics, English, science and Spanish and  participate in seminars and physical activities.
    Students also get the chance to explore various career fields by participating in internships and workshops.
    Recruitment for the summer program is usually done between March and May, though, this year, applications will be accepted until Wednesday, June 18.
    This year’s summer session will begin on Monday, June 23.
    Once enrolled in Upward Bound, students are expected to participate in both the academic and summer programs until they graduate from high school.
    To be eligible for the program, students must be rising ninth- or tenth-graders and come from  low-income families or be potential first-generation college students.
    Students must maintain a grade point average of 2.5 to join and remain in the program.
    Upward Bound is free to all participants. Free lunch is offered to students through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Summer Food Service program.
    For more information on Upward Bound at CCBC Dundalk, call 443-840-3172 or e-mail
upwardbounddundalk@ccbcmd.edu.