Texas A&M University-Kingsville Upward Bound receives $5.2 million for new, current programs
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Upward Bound receives $5.2 million for new, current programs

Posted on Thursday, October 26, 2017

Texas A&M University-Kingsville has received $5.2 million from the United States Department of Education to fund new and continuing Upward Bound programs that will be used at various high schools throughout the Coastal Bend.

Dr. Mary Gonzalez, associate vice president for student access, said the money is divided over four programs and each grant is for five years. “Programs that provide critical linkages for completion of high school and matriculation to a university are vitally important in our region and across the state of Texas. The university is acutely aware of the importance of outreach and helping all students succeed in furthering their education.”

Two Upward Bound and two Upward Bound Math and Science programs were funded. A new Upward Bound Rural program was funded for Premont and Raymondville Independent School Districts and an existing Upward Bound Math and Science rural program was refunded for the Robstown Independent School District with Premont added.

San Diego, Alice and Kingsville Independent School Districts will benefit from both an Upward Board regular and an Upward Bound Math and Science regular programs that were refunded for another five years.

Gonzalez said each of the programs will serve 60 students, two-thirds of which must be first generation college students and low income as defined by the federal government. The remaining one-third must be at risk of dropping out or have one of the two previous criteria.

“The programs matriculate students to higher education by bridging them at the university and fostering an institutional climate for success by preparing them from the ninth or tenth grade to recognize that college is for them and to provide rigorous curriculum that they commit to in the summer and provide experiences like dual enrollment,” she said.

While some participants may not elect to attend Texas A&M-Kingsville, the programs strive to create a college-going culture.

“Some attend the surrounding community colleges, but the matriculation rates to college overall average 86 percent over the last 10 years, Gonzalez said. “The majority does eventually attend Texas A&M-Kingsville and their persistence in college is higher for students that are first generation and low income.”

The Upward Bound programs provide students with academic instruction, tutoring and advising, information on financial aid programs, assistance in completing financial aid applications, financial literacy and support for applying for college enrollment. They also receive support for their diverse academic and non-cognitive needs to ensure they persist, succeed and graduate from high school completing a rigorous secondary school program of study, enroll in college and graduate with a college degree.

Gonzalez also received continuing funding for the Ronald McNair Program for $1.3 million over the next five years and another $1.2 million over five years for the Educational Opportunity Center regular program.  The McNair Program prepares undergraduate juniors and seniors who are aspiring to continue their study in graduate school. The Educational Opportunity Center provides adults 19 years old and older who have dropped out of school, with information and services aimed at supporting return to a secondary or post-secondary education


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