Cal Poly Pomona's Upward Bound program has received a 5-year, $1.25 million grant to prepare local high school students for success in college in the fields of math and science. The U.S. Department of Education grant will allow 50 low-income youth, who are potentially the first in the families to attend college, to receive personal tutoring, academic advising, support and academic enrichment.
“Our motto is that we're going to change the community one student at a time,” says Ricardo Quintero, executive director of the Upward Bound programs. “We're raising human capital.”
Beginning in the fall, the program will recruit 50 freshmen and sophomores from Garey and Village Academy high schools in Pomona. During the academic year, they will receive afterschool homework assistance and an individual education action plan, and they will also attend Saturday academy workshops to learn life skills, receive SAT test preparation and go on field trips to local colleges.
The grant will establish the university's fourth Upward Bound program and the second that emphasizes math and science. Cal Poly Pomona also hosts Montclair, Pomona, Garey and Ontario high schools.
Parents will also participate in Upward Bound, visiting Cal Poly Pomona, learning about financial aid and attending workshops on how to support their children's education. During the summer, students are immersed in college life for five weeks, living in the dorms at Cal Poly Pomona and taking classes on subjects such as chemistry, biology, environmental science and engineering. Classes are taught by high school teachers, college professors and graduate students from Cal Poly Pomona.
“The students will learn to be critical thinkers, assert their opinions and synthesize information,” Quintero says. “We're trying to erase the question mark of whether college is for them.”
Since the university began sponsoring Upward Bound in 1995, it graduates about 40 Upward Bound students each year. Although the program is not a recruiting tool for the university, about a third of the participants attend Cal Poly Pomona.
For more information about Upward Bound, visit www.cpp.edu/~lrc/ub.html.