The mission of the Upward Bound Program at the University of New Mexico is to offer rigorous academic support to college bound high school students.The UNM Upward Bound Program is 100% funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education under the Higher Education Act of 1965. Upward Bound provides fundamental support to participants in their preparation for college entrance. The program provides opportunities for participants to succeed in their precollege performance and ultimately in their higher education pursuits. All Upward Bound services are to assist participants in preparation for success in higher education. Upward Bound supports students socially, culturally, emotionally, and in college readiness.
Upward Bound tracks participant achievements in high school and through six years after high school graduation. For the past five years, Upward Bound has annually met or exceeded the goal that 60% of program participants will graduate to the next grade level or graduate from secondary education. In this new grant cycle Upward Bound will track student achievements to meet or exceed the goal that 50% of participants will attain either an associates or bachelor’s degree.
Upward Bound has its participants enroll in credit recovery or credit advancement course that help facilitate high school graduation. For the past five years 99% of students have completed credit recovery or credit advancement courses.
Through recruitment and cohort building, two-thirds of Upward Bound participants must be from low income and first generation backgrounds. Thus, secondary and post-secondary graduation rates include low-income students.
50% of all current and prior Upward Bound participants will enroll in post-secondary education immediately after high school graduation or have deferred enrollment.
Historically, participants of similar demographic and socio-economic backgrounds to Upward Bound program participants do not meet state standards. Upward Bound addresses New Mexico achievement gaps via 108 hours of SBA prep classes, 84 hours of ACT prep classes, summer credit recovery and credit advancement classes, and dual credit classes.
Upward Bound provides opportunities for participants to attend bi-weekly workshops (18). Through collaboration, UNM Upward Bound has a Toastmaster’s chapter with weekly meetings (42). Upward Bound students have also had opportunities to visit Washington D.C. for a leadership trip where they were able to meet New Mexico Senators and Congresspersons.
5Due to the critical nature of parental and family involvement, Upward Bound focuses parent engagement, hosting 12 parent workshops annually. Upward Bound leverages and makes referrals to community and educational resources, programs, and tools for the further advancement of participants’ education and to increase community impact.