About Us

Upward Bound at Occidental College continuously strives to serve its students in innovative and effective ways.

Upward Bound was established at Occidental College in 1966 and has since served over 2000 first generation, low income students in the Los Angeles region. Our intentional advising model and commitment to fostering strong scholars have allowed us to revolutionize our approach to student development and engagement, allowing us to successfully service a wide range of unique scholars.

The goal of our service revolves around 4 critical objectives:

  1. To holistically develop key skill sets that positively impact academic performance in high school.

  2. To expose our students to the demands of college and guide them through the college experience.

  3. To ensure that Upward Bound scholars graduate from high school with a solid post-secondary plan—both academic and financial.

  4. To graduate from a 4-year college or university or 6 years or less.

Upward Bound's History:

By the late 1960s, it was apparent that post-secondary educational achievement was required to triumph over systematic, institutional barriers to opportunity and progress. With Lyndon B. Johnson’s declaration of the War on Poverty in 1964, Upward Bound was created within the Office of Economic Opportunity as a way to have first generation; low income students break the cycle of poverty and gain access to universities across the country. The core of the program combines the power of a summer residential program for high school students with the constant care and mentorship of committed staff members to ensure these students are prepared for the demands of a college level education.

In 1968, Upward Bound was transferred to the Office of Education, now known as the Department of Education, joining its fellow TRiO programs in creating an education and opportunity access pipeline for a high need population within the United States. Upward Bound has maintained is relevance for over 50 years because of its ability to adapt the needs of today  students, using its strong network to support its longevity, inform its practice and operations, and remain accountable to the community it serves.