SSC Upward Bound Math/Science Programs Receive Grant Renewal

Seminole State College recently received notification from the U.S. Department of Education of the renewal of two federal Upward Bound Math/Science grants.  Together, Upward Bound Math/Science I and Upward Bound Math/Science II will receive over $2.9 million in grant money over the next five years, beginning in September. The grants will provide the institution $595,202 annually, with UBMS I receiving $297,601 per year to serve 52 participants and UBMS II receiving $297,601 per year to serve 62 participants.

The Upward Bound Math and Science program is designed to strengthen the math and science skills of participating students. The goal of the program is to help students recognize and develop their potential to excel in math and science and to encourage them to pursue postsecondary degrees in math and science, and ultimately careers in the math and science profession. The programs are 100 percent federally funded and serve students from Earlsboro, Holdenville, Macomb, Okemah, Seminole, Strother, Tecumseh, Wewoka, Bowlegs, Butner, Henryetta, Maud, New Lima, Shawnee, Stroud and Wetumka. SSC President Lana Reynolds expressed her appreciation to U.S. Senator Stephanie Bice and U.S. Senator James Lankford for their diligence and perseverance in assisting SSC during the grant application and award process. She stressed the importance of receiving federal money during these difficult financial times. “With our public schools facing loss of revenue from the state, funding the services provided to the students and schools in this area is more important than ever.  Many of these services would not be available, if not through our grant programs,” she said.

Seminole State College’s Upward Bound team is comprised of Math/Science I Coordinator Ronnie Williamson (left), Director Rich Thornton (center) and Math/Science II Coordinator Matt Kappele (right).

Throughout the school year, both programs assist students in study skills, test-taking strategies, life skills and college and career preparation.  The programs also provide campus tours and evening financial aid workshops for parents and students. 

Projects have also been developed through the program to help students understand the value of group sharing and cooperative learning, including a six-week summer residential camp. This component of the program simulates a college-going experience for first-generation, low-income students.            

“Upward Bound supports life-long learning and encourages students to develop and enhance the intellectual, cultural and social skills necessary for success in postsecondary education,” said Richard Thornton, Director of Upward Bound at SSC.                                                                                   

Thornton, along with Upward Bound Math/Science I Coordinator Ronnie Williamson, Upward Bound Math/Science II Coordinator Matt Kappele organize and chaperon activities for the Upward Bound Math/Science programs. For more information about SSC Upward Bound Math/Science programs for area high school students, contact the College’s Trio Programs at 405-382-9706.