Frequently Asked Questions
What is Upward Bound?
The Bristol Community College Upward Bound is a college preparatory program for Fall River, Taunton and Attleboro high school students who represent the first generation of their family potentially to earn a bachelor's degree or whose family income does not exceed 150% of the federal poverty level.
Are there any other Upward Bound programs in the state or country?
Yes. The University of Massachusetts/Dartmouth, University of MA/Boston, Rhode Island College, Salem State College, Fitchburg State College, Northfield Mt. Hermon School, MIT/Wellesley and North Shore Community College also host programs.Thanks to the federal TRIO Programs, there are more than 650 Upward Bound programs in the country.
How is Bristol Community College Upward Bound funded?
The BCC Upward Bound Program is funded through a four-year federal grant from the U.S. Department of Education. Upward Bound is one of six federal TRIO Programs under Title IV.
How long has the program been in existence?
The Bristol Community College Upward Bound Program was founded in October, 1989.
How many students has the program served?
Upward Bound has assisted over 200 students in gaining acceptance and financial aid to colleges and universities across the country. More than 80% of enrolled students remain in the program for their four years of high school. More than 90% of each graduating class enrolls in a post-secondary institution immediately after high school graduation.
What does Upward Bound do?
UB/ is a year round program serving 65 students in grades 9-12 from Fall River, Taunton and Attleboro.. All students participate in a six week residential summer program at Bridgewater State College. The program is designed to prepare students academically and socially for the upcoming school year. In addition to academics, students participate in activities addressing the issues which affect today's teens. Students also participate in an adventure challenge program and engage in technology training, and take trips to area college campuses and cultural offerings, like Trinity Repertory Theatre in Providence and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. During the academic year, Upward Bound students receive academic tutoring, advising and counseling. Program advisors follow the progress of the students. Students participate in weekly college advising, financial aid workshops and math, science and English workshops and attend SAT and MCAS preparation classes. Saturday program events monthly include seminars with admissions representatives from area colleges, speakers, an annual ski trip and more. The students are required to participate in social and cultural activities as well as perform community service.
What are the criteria for joining Upward Bound?
A student is eligible to apply to Upward Bound if he or she meets the following criteria:
- S/he is from a family where neither the student's mother nor father has graduated from a four-year college or university at the time of acceptance into the UB Program or He or she is able to meet federal low-income eligibility guidelines and He or she has the potential and determination to succeed in college-preparatory coursework and to succeed in college.
- Students must be between 13 and 19 years of age and must have graduated from 8th grade to be accepted to Upward Bound.
- Applications must be accompanieed by a recent transcript of high school work, financial documentation and a copy of the alien card, if not a citizen of the U.S.
- Recommendations from teachers, guidance counselors and other community leaders are helpful in the application process.
- A personal interview is conducted with each student and usually a parent before acceptance to the program.
- Students are expected to participate fully in all program classes and activities and continue in the program from admission to high school graduation.
- The Bridge Summer, following high school graduation, is elective, and provides UB Bridge students with an opportunity to take college courses for credit with program support and tutoring.
- There are no racial, ethnic or linguistic requirements for joining Upward Bound. This program is open to all students who meet the three criteria listed above.
Please describe the educational field trips Upward Bound takes during the academic year.
During the academic year, we take five or six educational/cultural field trips. Some of these may include Trinity Repertory Theatre, Boston's Museum of Fine Arts, The Wang Center, annual ski trips to Wachusett Mountain, many area college visits, and New England student leadership and TRIO Day student conferences. Annual TRIO Day provides students with an opportunity to attend a regional gathering of TRIO students ands staff, visit area colleges and meet admissions staff, and attend educational and college-prep workshops. Students learn about TRIO and meet other TRIO students from all over New England. At BCC, we also celebrate TRIO Day on campus each year, with a day of guest speakers, awards to students and recognition of campus support for UB and our sister TRIO program, Student Support Services or Quest Program. There are generally five weekly field trips during the summer program to area cultural and educational sites.
What are monthly Saturday Program meetings?
The Saturday Program classes and workshops are planned to strengthen UB student skills in test preparation for PSAT, SAT, MCAS, and other tests, to focus on specific academic areas needed in college like reading comprehension, essay and research paper writing, critical thinking and advanced math skills. We also work weekly with students on high school course selections, college applications, and financial aid applications. We train students in time management, problem-solving and conflict resolution. We often have guest speakers from area college resources like UMass/Dartmouth's College Now Program to describe their offerings and how to access them.
Why do students receive stipends?
Students receive a small amount of stipend money each month to support and recognize their commitment to the program. This is not a "paycheck" but a small token to defray the expense of a snack while at a tutorial, or lunch while on an educational field trip or Saturday Program meeting. We recognize that students may need to reduce their hours at a part-time job in order to participate fully in Upward Bound, and the small stipend may help to offset this somewhat.
How long is the summer residential program and why is it important?
The summer residential program is six weeks long, starting in June with orientation through early August. Students arrive on campus on Sunday evenings and go home on Friday afternoons. The summer program is a required component of Upward Bound that gives students a college experience and focuses on college-prep level academic courses. It is a very rich and full experience; a "boot camp" immersion in intensive academic preparation, with co-curricular programming and athletics, and educational field trips. Students may work only on the weekends and after the summer program is over in August. Students are expected to attend each summer program that they are enrolled in UB, unless an exception is made.
Why do students live in a residence hall during the summer program?
Students live in a residence hall during the summer because it prepares them for college, and encourages independance and life skills. They gain responsibility and the experience of being self-sufficient while being well-supervised by the Upward Bound staff. The rooms are spacious, and each student has a closet, bed, bureau, desk and chair. Students usually have one roommate of their choice. The rooms are clean and students must maintain them to meet their own standards. Male and female students live on separate floors in the residence hall. They may not visit the opposite sex floor at any time. There is a curfew and a set lights-out time each evening, and UB residential staff supervise student living quarters throughout the day and evening. There are a few rules that govern the Upward Bound Program. These rules include no drugs, no alcohol, no fighting, and no firearms or weapons. Students must practice respect for self, respect for other students and respect for the staff. Other expectations and practices are described at orientation each year. Each student has many opportunities to influence program policies and procedures in the academic year and summer program.