WLU Participates in Upward Bound Program to support low-income students

At the start of this month, it was announced that the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission will be the recipient of two Upward Bound Math and Science Grants. These grants are designed to help low-income high school students in the northern panhandle gain access to post-secondary education. West Liberty University is working in partnership with students from John Marshall High School and Weir High school throughout the process to provide a pipeline of support for prospective students.

The Upward Bound Grants total nearly $1.5 million each to help students on their journey to higher education. The grants provide support for students in a variety of ways from academic tutoring to assistance in applying for federal aid and funding. The funding can also be used to provide students from low-income and disadvantaged homes with exposure to programs that may not usually be readily accessible to them such as cultural events, and mentoring programs with faculty members and students from higher education institutions.

The number of students seeking post-secondary education has been declining in West Virginia in recent years making it more important than ever to provide students with the support they need to consider further education after high school. Dr. Sarah Armstrong Tucker, West Virginia’s Chancellor of Higher Education said to WLU Media Relations, “This is an incredible opportunity for us to work more directly and intentionally with students in these two high schools to help them see and take advantage of the terrific opportunities that await them after graduation…We are incredibly excited to start this work, and to let more students know that postsecondary education is the best path to good jobs in West Virginia.”

West Liberty has acknowledged the opportunity that this partnership has brought to campus to engage with students from the local area. “We have many alumni from these schools, and know the value these college graduates make to our region. West Liberty University is eager to assist the Commission in the year-round college readiness offerings on and off campus and we thank the Commission for its leadership,“said WLU Interim Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, Katie Cooper to WLU Media Relations. “We look forward to helping these prospective students build better lives with quality degrees that fit their career goals.”

Support from the Upward Bound Grant will allow students to have year-round academic assistance to enhance the student learning experience and help prepare students for post-secondary education as much as possible in the forms of college-readiness guidance and entrance exam preparations. Figures indicate that around 84 percent of Upward Bound Math and Science participants who graduated from high school go on to begin post-secondary education according to the U.S. Department of Education.

You can find out more about the Upward Bound Program here, and more about the West Virginia Higher Education Commission here.