The primary mission of Upward Bound is “…to generate skills and motivation necessary for success in education beyond secondary school... to youths who are low income and first generation college bound.”
Upward Bound is a product of the 1960′s Civil Rights Movement. It is one of several concessions wrested from the federal government that became known as the Higher Education Act (HEA), of 1965. As defined in the HEA, the primary mission of Upward Bound is “…to generate skills and motivation necessary for success in education beyond secondary school….to youths who are low income and first generation college bound.”
In 1964 Occidental College was selected to host one of the initial seventeen national pilot programs. In the summer of 1965 under the Higher Education Act, Upward Bound Projects began in colleges and universities throughout the country. Today, Upward Bound Projects number 954 nationwide hosted by various kinds of colleges and universities and in some cases operated by community based organizations in association with a college or university.
The central idea behind Upward Bound is that students from low income first generation backgrounds can be prepared to successfully compete in postsecondary institutions by providing them with a simulated college experience rich in academic and motivational support. The excellent results of the Upward Bound Project at Occidental College in motivating, preparing, and producing highly successful college students in its forty-eight year existence validates this central idea.
Although Occidental is a small, highly selective, private, liberal arts college, it has maintained the social commitment made in the sixties to offer educational and motivational services to low income, first generation college bound students by its sponsorship of this project. Occidental’s commitment is manifested not only by its administrative support for the Project, which in every respect is treated as a department of the college, but also by its contribution of human, physical, and financial resources. The considerable support enjoyed by the Project in past years continues to this day and is an important factor in our ability to produce highly prepared, motivated, socially conscious Upward Bound graduates.
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