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Upward Bound Not Funded by Government

by Valerie Garner

Roanoke College recently was notified by the U.S. Department of Education that their grant for the Upward Bound program has not been funded by the federal government for the coming five-year cycle. The summer residential program for 70 high school students was set to begin in June, but was cancelled due to funding issues.

Roanoke College Upward Bound staff members notified the teaching staff, students and their parents and have notified the seven area target high schools served by the program.  Roanoke College officials say they are making every effort to appeal to the U.S. Congress for restoration of Upward Bound funding.  However, due to the uncertainty of the funding situation, the College had to cancel the entire 2012 summer residential program. “We sincerely regret the cancellation of the summer program and had hoped to avoid this drastic step,” said Theresa Jackson, director of Upward Bound at Roanoke College.

If efforts to appeal the funding are successful and funding is restored, the program may continue with the academic year program. If the funding is not restored, target area high school students will no longer benefit from the services, support and enrichment provided by Upward Bound at Roanoke College.

Since 1965, Roanoke has hosted Upward Bound, one of the oldest federally-funded TRIO programs in the country, and has served hundreds of students in the Roanoke area.  Upward Bound is a highly successful college bound program that assists socioeconomically disadvantaged high school students in developing necessary skills for success in college.

Typically 90-100 percent of the Roanoke College Upward Bound participants retained through 12th grade graduate from high school, and close to 90 percent of the students retained in Upward Bound through 12th grade enroll in college.

Since the beginning of the current funding cycle which began in 2007, Roanoke College Upward Bound has served more than 180 students.  Of this number, approximately 116 entered college, and at least 55 percent of the 116 students were still enrolled during the fall of 2011.

Roanoke College Upward Bound alumni have earned degrees from: Appalachian State University, College of William and Mary, East Tennessee State University, Ferrum College, George Mason University, Greensboro College, Hampton University, Hollins University, Howard University, James Madison University, Kent State University, Longwood University, Lynchburg College, New Mexico State University, North Carolina A & T State University, North Carolina Central, Old Dominion University, Radford University, Roanoke College, Shenandoah University, Spelman College, UNC-Chapel Hill, UNC-Greensboro, University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia State University, Virginia Tech, Virginia Western Community College, Winthrop University, and  many other reputable institutions of higher education.

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