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Upward Bound Receives Federal Funding for New Program

The award brings the total for the Upward Bound program to $4.75 million for 2012.

Written by Callie Jones

Munoz, far right, along with the Upward Bound staff and students.

Texas Tech University was recently awarded $1.25 million by the U.S. Department of Education for the Upward Bound Math and Science (UBMS) Discover program. The award brings the total amount of funding for the Upward Bound program to $4.75 million for 2012, including renewal grants for the Upward Bound Select program ($2.25 million) and Upward Bound Math and Science Quality University Explorations in Science & Technology (QUEST) program ($1.25 million).

“Texas Tech is honored to receive this unprecedented third Upward Bound grant,” said Juan Munoz, vice president for institutional diversity, equity and community engagement and vice provost for undergraduate education and student affairs. “In aggregate, this funding will provide the unit an annual budget of just under $1 million for the next five years dedicated to helping high achieving West Texas students pursue a post-baccalaureate education. The fact that Texas Tech was not only re-funded, but received an additional grant further affirms the success and reputation of our Upward Bound program, its staff and our university as a whole.”

The UBMS Discover program is similar to the QUEST program, in that it provides opportunities for high school students from families with limited financial resources to explore career options in the areas of mathematics, science and/or technology. The program includes research seminars throughout the academic year and a summer component that allows students to take classes on the Texas Tech campus. Students work on research projects, attend financial aid workshops, utilize academic tutoring and take college tours throughout the course of the program.

The UBMS Discover program will serve students from an additional five rural area high schools and will allow for an additional 60 students to participate in the Upward Bound umbrella of programs.

“This is reflective of the wonderful work and dedication of our Upward Bound staff,” said Lawrence Schovanec, Texas Tech University interim president. “The Texas Tech Upward Bound program is instrumental in the development of many young students, helping prepare them for life in college and beyond.”

The Upward Bound program has existed nationally since 1967 and is part of the Federal TRIO programs, which provide a wide range of services to low-income and first generation students. Texas Tech’s Upward Bound programs are part of the Division of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement and is in its 45th year. To date, Upward Bound has served more than 6,000 students.

“College-readiness is becoming an increasingly important factor as we look to increase enrollment,” said Kent Hance, chancellor of the Texas Tech University System. “Upward Bound provides its students with the tools necessary to grow into successful college students. We are proud of the program’s dedication to its students and thrilled this funding will allow it to continue its mission.”

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