Seminole State College recently received notification from the U.S. Department of Education of the renewal of two federal Upward Bound grants. Together, Upward Bound I and Upward Bound II will receive over $3.4 million in grant money over the next five years, beginning in September. The grants will provide the institution $696,235 annually, with UB I receiving $398,634 per year to serve 77 participants and UB II receiving $297,601 per year to serve 52 participants.
The College’s Upward Bound programs are designed to provide participants with STEM-focused academics and summer activities designed to give students the skills and motivation necessary for entry and success in post-secondary education. The programs are 100 percent federally-funded and serve students from Bowlegs, Earlsboro, Shawnee, Seminole, Strother, Varnum, Wewoka, Okemah, Holdenville, Paden, Macomb, Maud, Weleetka, Graham- Dustin, Wetumka and New Lima schools.
SSC President Lana Reynolds expressed her appreciation to U.S. Congresswoman Stephanie Bice and her staff for their diligence and perseverance in assisting SSC during the grant application and award process. She stressed the importance this influx of federal funding to the college and surrounding communities. “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. These grants also mean jobs for our institution – which has a great impact on the economic development of the area,” she said.
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 I Coordinator Paige Hannabass, Upward Bound II Coordinator Anna Skender organize and chaperon activities for the Upward Bound programs.
For more information about SSC Upward Bound programs for area high school students, contact the College’s Trio Programs at 405-382-9706.