Stillman College Welcomes Upward Bound Students
On Tuesday, May 31, students admitted to the summer residential component of the Upward Bound Program will begin moving into the residence halls on the Stillman campus. Orientation for these students begins Sunday at 2:00 p.m. in Birthright Auditorium.
Upward Bound is the oldest program under the umbrella of the federal TRIO program. The name “TRIO” was first used in the late 1960’s to describe the first three federal outreach programs—Upward Bound, Educational Talent Search and Student Support Services. Upward Bound was created in the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 as part of President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty.
The Upward Bound Program has been in existence for over 40 years, and has been at Stillman since 1966. The Program was created to help first-generation college students and students from families that meet income guidelines established by the federal government graduate from high school, attend college and reach their full potential while in college. The Program provides tutoring, ACT, SAT and ASHSE preparation, college and career information, instruction and advisement in academics, counseling, visits and tours to colleges and universities, cultural and social enrichment activities and job shadowing. The summer Program also allows for a six-week residential Program on the Stillman campus. This gives high school students the opportunity to experience living on the College’s campus.
Stillman’s Upward Bound Program serves six counties including: Hale, Perry, Sumter, Green, Pickens and Tuscaloosa. Stillman Upward Bound counselors are Russell Rivers, Elizabeth Lowe and Tywain Griffen. These counselors, along with the Director of the Program at Stillman, Dr. Bettye Mullen, work with schools in these counties to recruit students for the Program. The Program allows admittance for 190 students. A specific number of students are admitted from each school within the counties served by the Upward Bound Program at Stillman.
Ninety percent of the students that attend Upward Bound go on to college. After completing the program and graduating from high school, Upward Bound students are provided a fee waiver to take the ACT or SAT. In addition, the summer following their senior year in high school, Upward Bound students are allowed to enroll in nine college credit hours of course work at Stillman. These classes are offered at no cost to these students and the credits can be transferred to other colleges and universities. Upward Bound facilitators follow-up with previous Program attendees for six years after their completion of the Program. This allows the facilitators to keep up with how the students are doing, what they are doing and how they have grown since the Program.
Dr. Bettye Mullen, Director, stresses the critical need for parents of interested students to turn in all of the necessary paperwork completed on time, and the earlier the better. Mullen continued to explain that many students want to participate in this amazing program and those that have completed the necessary paperwork early are more likely to be admitted to the program than those whose parents wait until later in the game. To be considered for acceptance into the Program, a completed application, a copy of the student’s most recent report card or transcript and documentation of household income is necessary. Students will also be asked to have a face-to-face interview with Upward Bound facilitators.
Applications for the program are accepted year-round. Stillman has three enrollment periods: (Fall) with academic component held July – August; (Spring) with academic component held December; and (Summer) with the academic component held from March - May.
“Many people have the misconception that Upward Bound is a summer program. Though we have a summer component, the Program runs year-long,” said Mullen. Students that are not admitted to the summer component are encouraged to apply to attend the sessions held during the academic year. Classes held during the academic year meet on Saturdays from 8 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Lunch is then served from noon until 1:00 p.m. at which time students are dismissed.
If accepted for the summer component, students receive at no cost: room and board on the Stillman campus, three meals a day, and all travel expenses. In addition, summer students qualify for a stipend of $15 per week and the opportunity to job shadow at $7.00 per hour.
Upward Bound’s academic components include: English, reading, mathematics, natural science, foreign language and computer science. There are also special interest electives such as study skills, speech, creative writing, logic, journalism, choral music, mathematics seminars, a spelling b and a scholars bowl.
Aside from the academic preparation for the student’s upcoming school year’s curriculum, students are also afforded many opportunities to experience life in ways that they likely would not have the opportunity without the Program. For instance, in the past, students have traveled to New York City, Canada, St. Louis, Chicago, Wisconsin, Arkansas, Texas and Atlanta. “We never do the same activity twice on our travels,” said Mullen. “We have gone on cruises, to plays and to dinner theatre,” she continued. She hopes to visit D.C. and New York with the group this year, and is waiting on clearance to tour the White House on their trip.
She recalls a previous student telling her on one trip they took, “Dr. Mullen, you have done it again.” On these trips, Mullen always makes sure that the students get to tour colleges and universities in the cities they visit. Students stay in the best hotels, eat at the best restaurants and attend cultural and educational events. Mullen said, “We try to expose them to places and things that they wouldn’t normally experience.”
Dr. Mullen has also developed a special opportunity for high school seniors in the Program. Seniors have the opportunity to author and publish a short book. In it, students can write about their lives and experiences. One of the previously published seniors, Eddie Williams, said, “Upward Bound has opened my eyes to so much.”
For more information, or if you have questions about the Upward Bound program, call 205-366-8904.
Email to Friend
Fill in the form below to send this campus news to a friend: