University's ‘Upward Bound' seeks eligible students

CLARION Clarion University is seeking applicants for its Upward Bound program which provides eligible students with year-round academic support and enrichment.

Upward Bound (UB) is funded by the U.S. Department of Education and is designed to encourage and support students enhancing academic skills while providing the motivation necessary for success throughout their high school and college careers, as well as everyday life.

Upward Bound is available to selected high school students in grades 9 through 12 who have met eligibility criteria established by the U.S. Department of Education and who attend the following high schools in western Pennsylvania: Allegheny-Clarion Valley, Farrell, Oil City, Punxsutawney, Redbank Valley, Sharon and Union.

Students receive academic counseling about standardized testing, educational options, career possibilities, postsecondary school selection, academic coursework, financial aid and overcoming adversity to succeed in college and in life.

Monthly Campus Days, academic counselor meetings, and after-school meetings with their learning coordinator (teacher or counselor in their home district) are all components that are still occurring face-to-face or virtually.

Upward Bound is in the process of planning a hybrid six-week summer program. The Summer Academy has taken place for over 40 years on Clarion University's campus.

The Upward Bound staff is hopeful for face-to-face programming this summer, but is planning for all scenarios. One of the main goals for summer is for students to experience campus life and the college atmosphere.

Staff is currently arranging an array of academic classes and opportunities for students. Activities offer a chance to explore various career, college, and financial resources to plan for their future.

"Currently, we are still in the process of rethinking and planning, but are confident summer 2021 will be memorable, educational, social and enriching," said director, McMillen-Toth.

Due to school closures and restrictions, Upward Bound has been impacted in recruitment efforts and has openings available for academic year and summer programming.

Students interested in joining Upward Bound must meet the following requirements:

4Currently be in grades 9, 10or 11 at one of the seven target high schools: A-C Valley, Farrell, Oil City, Punxsutawney, Redbank Valley, Sharon or Union

4Have an interest in pursuing an associate's or bachelor's degree

4Be classified as low-income and/or first-generation (or have an identified barrier) based on regulations provided by the U.S. Department of Education

4Register for and take college placement tests (such as the PSAT, SAT and/or ACT) and apply to colleges or universities their senior year

4Participate at in-school, after-school, Saturday, and summer activities - stipends are available.

4Be open to new cultural, social, educational, and recreational experiences

4Complete an Upward Bound application available directly at or through, your guidance office, or by calling the Upward Bound office at (814) 393-2342

Those submitting applications will be contacted by a member of the UB team for interview purposes and further discussion of the federal program and available opportunities.

Participation stipends of up to $90 a month are currently in place for the remainder of the academic year, as is tutoring, SAT preparation online accounts, and technology support. There is no cost associated with this federal educational opportunity program.