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Monday, June 19, 2017

Dozens of High School Students Experience College Life

 Upward Bound students on National TRIO Day
Nearly one hundred high school students are taking classes and experiencing living on campus thanks to the College of Education’s Upward Bound Summer Residential Program.

For six weeks, 90 low-income and/or first generation students from 13 high schools are taking courses taught by credentialed high school teachers and living with a college roommate on the San Diego State University campus.

“What we want to provide participants with is a safe and positive environment that is conducive to learning and also to provide the opportunity for participants’ development and social growth,” said Tomasa Mauricio, director of SDSU’s Upward Bound program. “We believe that student academic, social, and spiritual development is enhanced through building a sense of belonging, self-pride, and an ethos of personal responsibility with a deep commitment to give back to the larger community.”

Upward Bound is part of the College of Education through the Pre-College Institute. The program was established by Dr. Cynthia Park, professor of Teacher Education. The Summer Residential Program provides an opportunity for COE to connect with community partners in building a bridge between local high schools and SDSU.

According to Mauricio, the Summer Residential Program is one of the students’ favorite parts of being a member of Upward Bound.

“Not only do they have the opportunity to participate in rigorous courses, but they also have the opportunity to learn about other cultures, traditions and about themselves,” Mauricio said. “They especially enjoy meeting and making new friends.”

Past students said they enjoyed the program and greatly appreciated the opportunity to experience campus life.

“The safe and friendly environment allowed me to grow as an individual and develop an extroverted side. It was an incredibly awesome experience that would feel just like college,” said Philip Tran from Crawford High School.

Janna Ancheta from Morse High School agreed.

“It is not your average summer camp, as you are able to spend about a month exposed to raw campus life, sleeping in the dorms, eating meals, access to libraries, and academic courses,” Ancheta said. “For me, this program has enhanced my awareness of the importance of higher education.”

Funding Reduced

Upward Bound is the first one of the TRIO federal education programs which aim to serve and assist low-income individuals, first-generation college students and people with disabilities pursue a college education.

While the funding for the 2017-2018 fiscal year has been approved, future TRIO funds are in jeopardy since the current Trump administration has recommended a 10 percent cut and plans to eliminate the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate program and the Economic Opportunity Centers which serves adults.

“These grants help sustain SDSU's longstanding commitment to support children and youth in our local community as they endeavor to access excellent educational opportunities,” said COE Dean Joseph F. Johnson, Jr. when announcing that the Pre-College Institute had received two Upward Bound 2017-18 grants totaling $715,870. “These grants are intended to increase high school graduation rates for low-income and potential first-generation college students and increase the rate at which they enroll in and graduate from postsecondary institutions.”