The federal Upward Bound program is coming
to Rutgers University, Newark, funded by a five-year, $1.25 million U.S.
Department of Education grant to the Rutgers Academic Foundations Center.
Upward Bound’s aim is to “motivate
and prepare underserved first-generation college bound students to complete
high school and enroll in post-secondary education,” according to Yanett
Salazar Bagce, Rutgers-Newark’s program director. The intensive college
preparatory program will serve 9th-, 10th- and 11th-graders
from East Orange STEM Academy High School, East Orange Campus High School and
Cicely L. Tyson Community School of the Performing & Fine Arts High School,
East Orange. The R-N program is one of
only eight in New Jersey.
Courses will focus on a core
curriculum of five subjects: mathematics, laboratory sciences, composition,
literature, and foreign languages, according to Bagce. SAT preparation is an
important part of the program, as are the “foundations for academic success,”
including critical thinking and writing, character development, test
preparation, time management and SAT preparation.
The addition of the
Upward Bound program will “build upon the Academic Foundations Center’s mission of
providing academic opportunities, resources, and support programs for
underrepresented students to achieve success thorough education,” explains Deborah
Walker-McCall, associate dean of academic affairs, AFC, and director of the
Educational Opportunity Fund program.
Dr. Gloria C. Scott, superintendent
of schools, East Orange School District, stated, “We are excited to be a
partner with this very prestigious program that will encourage our
students to seek a post-secondary education by providing them with exposure to
college campuses, mentorship programs, and helping them to prepare for college
Upward Bound focuses
on both the academic and social development of students.
For instance, courses explain interpersonal norms that shape daily
interactions, teaching skills such as teamwork, communication, healthy
decision-making, honesty, and responsibility. The curriculum also teaches teens
the fundamentals of finance, foundations for academic success,
and college planning; these are offered in partnership with NJ Cares and Cents
Ability. Students also benefit from cultural
enrichment activities, such as field trips to museums, tours of college
campuses and community events.
Upward Bound is free to participants;
the 60 students in R-N’s program were selected for admission to Upward Bound
based on federal eligibility criteria. For more on Upward Bound: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/triupobound/index.html
In January, these 60 began taking rigorous
Saturday courses at Rutgers-Newark, and during summer months they will
participate in a daily academic program. Come fall, they will begin attending Saturday
classes for the full academic year, then resume their daily summer courses program
in June -- a process they will repeat
through the grant’s end in 2017. As students enter into the 12th
grade, 9th- graders will be recruited, ensuring there are always 60
Media Contact: Carla Capizzi