A group of 92 high school students from six area high schools who will arrive on the California State University, Fresno campus Sunday (June 17) for a five-week summer program are the first generation in their family on track to attend a college thanks to the federally-funded Upward Bound and ESL-Upward Bound programs.
And when the students — from diverse backgrounds and cultures — arrive Sunday between 4 and 6 p.m. for the academic and orientation residency program, they and their parents will be greeted by staff dressed in character as part of the program’s theme this summer: “The Red Carpet Ceremony Where You Are the Star.”
The Upward Bound Program is designed for low-income, first-generation college bound high school students who have the potential to succeed in college, but whose high school grades and test scores do not reflect that potential, said Martina Granados, Upward Bound director.
Living in the residence halls on campus during the summer program June 17 to July 20, they will be introduced to the rigors and challenges that college life presents and learn how to successfully prepare for their future higher education experience, Granados said.
But their summer work will be tempered with some fun, beginning with their arrival Sunday afternoon. A red carpet will await them at Baker Hall in the University Courtyard and staff will be dressed in various movie theme costumes. The students are being encouraged to also choose a theme and dress for the occasion.
“College is serious and requires hard work,” said Granados. “It can be a difficult experience for many of these young college-bound high school students who have no one in their family to draw upon for advice. So we will show them what to expect but we will also do it in a way that shows the experience can be creative, stimulating and enjoyable.”
She said the opening day theme “is a great way to help break the ice for them, to relax and make new friends, to help them form new bonds with each other as they learn how to deal with the many challenges they will face when they get to college.”
Funded by the United States Department of Education, Upward Bound provides assistance in acquiring the motivation and academic and social skills to succeed in high school and prepare for college. It is part of federally-funded programs known as TRIO, created through the Higher Education Act of 1965.
Fresno State administers five TRIO programs, under the direction of the Division of Student Affairs: Upward Bound, Student Support Services Program, Educational Talent Search, Educational Opportunity Center and the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program.
Most students enter Upward Bound when they are in the ninth or tenth grade of high school. Once enrolled, students participate in a multi-year program of weekly activities during the school year and an intensive summer program that simulates college.
Six area high schools participate in the Fresno State program: Edison, Fresno, Roosevelt, Sanger, Parlier, and Madera High Schools. More than 2,000 students have come through Fresno State program, which was established in 1980.
According to a study by Mathematica Policy Research, two impacts emerge early on from Upward Bound.
“First, students who participate in the program expect to complete more schooling than similar students who do not,” said the 1996 study commissioned by the U.S. Department of Education. “Second, the program has a positive impact on the number of academic courses participants take during high school.”
In Fresno State’s summer program, students may enroll in various classes and are eligible to receive up to 10 elective or replacement high school credits.
During the five-week residential program, students participate in cultural and recreational field trips, career development and job seeking skill-building sessions, career labs, job-site visits, recreational activities, individual and group tutoring, a summer jam activity scheduled for CSU, Bakersfield this year and enrichment workshops.
Later in the summer (July 8 — Aug. 4), 120 incoming Fresno State students will participate in Summer Bridge, a three-week residential program through the Educational Opportunity Program in Student Affairs.
For more information about Upward Bound, contact Granados at 559.278.2693.
Higher Education Act of 1965 – http://www.ed.pov/about/offices/list/ope/trio/triohea.pdf
Upward Bound – http://studentaffairs.csufresno.edu/upwardbound
Student Support Services Program – http://studentaffairs.csufresno.edu/sssp Educational Talent Search – http://studentaffairscsufresno.edu/procrams/talent Educational Opportunity Center – http://studentaffairs.csufresno.edu/eoc Summer Bridge – http://studentaffairs.csufresno.edu/eop/summerbridge/
California State University, Fresno is the largest institution of higher education in Central California and has a growing reputation as one of the West Coast’s premier universities. Founded in 1911, Fresno State has earned national acclaim for programs in teacher-preparation, health care, water technology, winemaking, entrepreneurship and the Classics. Guided by a distinguished faculty, our 22,000 students receive the academic, practical and leadership skills to meet the dynamic challenges of today and the future in the global community.