Co-authored by Donald Ross and Nicole Huff
Scioto County Candor
Upward Bound has been brought to an end, a hard loss for area high school students.
Director of Marketing & Communications for Shawnee State University (SSU) Elizabeth Blevins explained, “Upward Bound is one of the federally funded TRIO programs. The government has discontinued funding the program at Shawnee State.”
The program that has been funded at SSU since opening in 1992.
On Sept. 20, 2017, Dr. Logan Minter, the Acting Director of the Upward Bound program sent a letter to his students. In the letter, Minter explained a brief history of the program, and the reasons for its demise.
The U.S. Department of Education shot down numerous efforts made by SSU to continue the program, the letter explained.
Minter says, “ While Shawnee State University made every effort to see that the program was funded for the next cycle, including the submission of two project proposals, the U.S. Department of Education denied requests for funding. As of this time, the Upward Bound Program serving Scioto County will be closed. Our hope will be to submit a new application during the next competition, likely in the fall of 2021.”
With the focus of the program on low income families and first-generation college students, the main goal of the program was to increases degree attainment. Roughly 73 students per year joined the program locally, Blevins confirmed.
With the program closing many benefits are being lost to local students, benefits such as recreational, academic, cultural, social and counseling services. Upward Bound gave students multiple options of activities such as, ACT/SAT preparation and assistance with college scholarship applications, tutoring, college visits, academic counseling and cultural field trips, Blevins explained. Upward Bound also allowed hands-on practice, with the students of the program spending several weeks living and learning at SSU.
The Summer of 2017 was the 5th and final year of the five-year funding cycle.
“While this marks a sad change in the program’s history, our hope is that you will think back fondly on your time as a participant, and consider Shawnee State and its focus on students as you plan your future educational endeavors. Over the years, many students have participated in the program and continued their success in their academic, personal, and public lives as contributors to the community. You too are charged with going forward and pushing yourself to accomplish all you can and attain your maximum potential,” Minter stated to his students in the letter. “Therefore, my personal hope is that by having participated in UB, you have become more aware of the opportunities available to you through higher education and be inspired to pursue the excitement of discovery wherever your future paths may lead you.”