Students participating in this summer's Upward Bound program at Arkansas State University-Beebe recently returned from an educational trip to Colorado.

Upward Bound is a federally-funded program which assists students to develop the skills necessary to enter and complete post-secondary education. Students receive classroom instruction, tutoring, academic and career counseling, ACT preparation, exposure to the college experience through attendance in summer academy, and gain cultural enrichment and expanded social skills. Students also receive information on colleges/universities, campus visits, completing admissions, financial aid and scholarship applications.

The program requires students attend 16 Saturday classes during the academic year, participate in after-school tutoring programs and a six-week summer program. The summer program consists of the students living in the ASU-Beebe residence halls for five weeks during the months of June and July. The sixth week is used for an educational and cultural trip.

This year, the students traveled to Colorado Springs for the cultural portion of the summer program.

“This was a new adventure for us as most of our students and staff had never been to Colorado,” Stephanie Quick, assistant director of the Upward Bound program, said. “The goal of these trips is to enlighten students about new cultures, careers and opportunities, and we always visit a college campus while we are out of state.”

In Colorado, the Upward Bound group visited the U.S. Air Force Academy planetarium, Garden of the Gods, Manitu Cliff Dwellings and local museums.

The costs of the program for students are covered under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

Each Upward Bound participant receives a stipend plus mileage for each Saturday or tutoring session attended. Room and board during the summer academy, cultural event admission and other activities are also paid by the program.

In order to qualify for the Upward Bound program, students must demonstrate academic potential for post-secondary education, must be classified as a first-generation college student, and/or come from families with low incomes, and/or have a high risk for academic failure. A first generation student is a person whose parents have not graduated with a bachelor’s degree. Academic failure is defined as students with below a 2.5 GPA, or who have scored close or in need of support on their state assessments, or have not successfully completed algebra 1 by the 10th grade.

The ASU-Beebe Upward Bound program is held on the Beebe and Heber Springs campuses. The program is open to students in ninth through 11th grade who attend school at Beebe, Cabot, Carlisle, Clinton, Concord, Des Arc, England, Guy-Perkins, Hazen, Heber Springs, Lonoke, Mt. Vernon-Enola, Quitman, Rose Bud, Shirley, South Side Bee Branch, Vilonia, and West Side Greers Ferry.

“We had 93 students living in the residence halls this summer,” Quick said. “Of those 93, we had 17 students attending college classes and receiving credit as bridge students.” The ASU-Beebe program is funded to serve 75 students and the ASU-Beebe Heber Springs campus program can serve 56 students.

Applications may be picked up from a student’s high school counselor, or by calling the Upward Bound offices on the Beebe campus at 501-882-4455, or the Heber Springs campus at 501-362-1180.

The TRIO programs are designed to assist limited income, first generation college students and/or students who are academically at risk. The programs help students enroll in and successfully graduate from a post-secondary educational institution. There are over 1,200 TRIO programs throughout the country assisting college students.

ASU-Beebe hosts two of the seven Federal TRIO Programs funded through the United States Department of Education: Student Support Services and Upward Bound. Other TRIO Programs include Educational Opportunity Centers, Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Program, Talent Search, Upward Bound Math-Science, and Veterans Upward Bound.

For more information about degrees or certificates offered at ASU-Beebe, call 501-882-3600 or view the website at www.asub.edu.

About ASU-Beebe

Founded in 1927, Arkansas State University-Beebe is an operationally separate, two-year institution of the Arkansas State University System. With campuses located at Beebe, Heber Springs, Searcy, Little Rock Air Force Base and online, the university offers associate degrees, certificates and non-credit training for business and industry.