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Clarion University Upward Bound Seeks Applicants

Clarion University’s Upward Bound program provides eligible students with year-round academic support and enrichment. Upward Bound (UB) is funded by the US Department of Education and is designed to encourage and support students—enhancing academic skills while providing the motivation necessary for success throughout their high school and college careers, as well as everyday life.

Upward Bound is available to selected high school students (grades 9 through 12) who have met eligibility criteria established by the U.S. Department of Education and who attend the following high schools in western Pennsylvania: Allegheny-Clarion Valley, Farrell, Oil City, Punxsutawney, Redbank Valley, Sharon and Union.

Students receive academic counseling about standardized testing, educational options, career possibilities, postsecondary school selection, academic coursework, financial aid and overcoming adversity to succeed in college and in life. Monthly Campus Days, academic counselor meetings, and after-school meetings with their learning coordinator (teacher or counselor in their home district) are all components that are still occurring face-to-face or virtually.

Upward Bound is currently in the process of planning a hybrid six-week summer program. The Summer Academy has taken place for over forty years on Clarion University’s campus. The Upward Bound staff is hopeful for face-to-face programming this summer, but is planning for all scenarios. One of the main goals for summer is for students to experience campus life and the college atmosphere. Staff are currently arranging an array of academic classes and opportunities for students. Activities offer a chance to explore various career, college, and financial resources to plan for their future. “Currently, we are still in the process of rethinking and planning, but are confident Summer 2021 will be memorable, educational, social and enriching,” said director, McMillen-Toth.

Due to school closures and restrictions, Upward Bound has been impacted in recruitment efforts and has openings available for academic year and summer programming. Students interested in joining Upward Bound must meet the following requirements:

• Currently be in Grades 9, 10  or 11 at one of the seven target high schools: A-C Valley, Farrell, Oil City, Punxsutawney, Redbank Valley, Sharon, or Union 

• Have an interest in pursuing an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree

• Be classified as low-income and/or first-generation (or have an identified barrier) based on regulations provided by the U.S. Department of Education

• Register for and take college placement tests (such as the PSAT, SAT and/or ACT) and apply to colleges or universities their senior year

• Participate at in-school, after-school, Saturday, and summer activities (Stipends are available.)

• Be open to new cultural, social, educational, and recreational experiences 

• Complete an Upward Bound application available directly at or through, your guidance office, or by calling the Upward Bound office at 814-393-2342.

Those submitting applications will be contacted by a member of the UB team for interview purposes and further discussion of the federal program and available opportunities. Participation stipends of up to $90 a month are currently in place for the remainder of the academic year, as is tutoring, SAT preparation online accounts, and technology support. There is no cost associated with this federal educational opportunity program.

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