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Upward Bound

July 2007

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Grant secures future for Upward Bound program

A $347,834 grant will ensure continuation of a program that helps high school students successfully pursue a college education.

The U.S. Department of Education award means the College can continue offering curriculum, services and activities to more than 60 Upward Bound students in target schools.

The program welcomes students of all races and ethnicities; however, it is particularly concerned with increasing the percentage of low-income, first-generation American Indian students who successfully pursue postsecondary education opportunities. Upward Bound at St. Norbert serves seven of the nine high schools with the highest percentage of American Indians in Brown, Menominee and Outagamie counties.

University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate Melissa Coonen is just one of the students whose experiences with St. Norbert College’s Upward Bound program helped achieve her goals.

She said, “I knew from a young age that I wanted to go to college and my parents always emphasized education. However, neither of my parents attended college, therefore, higher education was unfamiliar territory for me. Upward Bound became the means to attaining the goal.”

Students in the program develop and improve academic skills in reading, writing, mathematics, laboratory science, foreign language proficiency and study skills through one-time special events, weekly academic enrichment at the target high schools, monthly Saturday Seminars, and the six-week residential summer session.

”Low-income, first-generation students in our target area lack pre-college academic preparation,” said Joycelin Berry, director of Upward Bound at St. Norbert. “They also lack the individual tutoring and academic attention necessary to overcome economic and social factors.

“Our goal is to provide them with the resources and support to overcome these factors so that they can achieve their educational goals and succeed at a postsecondary institution.”

In addition to academic skills, Upward Bound students also develop a strong sense of self, an understanding and acceptance of others, particularly those of different cultural backgrounds, and an ability to demonstrate social and cultural skills.

These cultural enrichment opportunities can be just as important to a student’s success as the academic ones. Coonen said, “Entering college in Madison, I never experienced the cultural shock—I was already familiar with interacting with students with a diverse view of opinions and backgrounds.”

The target schools of Upward Bound include the Oneida Nation High School, the five public school districts that intersect the Oneida Reservation (Freedom, Pulaski, Seymour, Southwest and West De Pere High Schools), and the Menominee Indian High School.

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