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students and teachers

High expectations and standards are at the core of the Upward Bound Program. Students work collaboratively with others, improve their critical thinking skills, and become better learners. While the Upward Bound experience is demanding, the learning environment provides students with the assistance and guidance to meet those challenges. On average, classes are limited to fifteen students. Teachers and counselors come to know students' academic and personal strengths and talents and help students reach their full potential.

Saturday Academy

During each school year, students attend college preparatory classes in mathematics, literature and writing, and study skills. These classes are held on Saturdays from
9:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on the campus of Rhode Island College. Participants who have met specific goals will be invited to participate in the summer component.

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FYI Academic Year 2020-2021

Due to COVID-19, the Upward Bound Program, under the guidance of Rhode Island College, is conducting a modified, fully virtual, academic year program.  Plans for the summer program will be disclosed at a later time.

Academic Year Program / Saturday Academy

  • The Saturday Academy on the Rhode Island College campus (virtual for 2021)
  • Advising
  • Tutoring
  • Access to the library and technology centers
  • Advice and guidance in choosing and applying to colleges
  • SAT workshops
  • TOEFL workshops and testing
  • Cultural, social, and intramural programs
  • Scholarship opportunities for Upward Bound seniors (Alumni Scholarship Endowment Fund and Target School District Scholarships)
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Summer Residential Component

  • A six-week residential campus experience
  • College preparation courses
  • Counseling
  • Tutoring
  • Study skills support
  • Workshops
  • Career Fair
  • Access to the library and technology centers, science laboratories, and the Recreation Center
  • Cultural, social, and intramural programs
  • Internship placements
  • Strong alumni network
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Summer Component

Students are required to participate in a six-week summer residential component that focuses on academic and personal development. Students live in one of Rhode Island College's residence halls and are supervised by a team of tutors and counselors. Students take higher-level classes in mathematics, science, literature and writing, foreign language, and study skills. Students also have time to participate in activities and weekly social and cultural programs. Students have access to the College's facilities, including the library, science laboratories, and the Technology and Recreation Centers.

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Summer Internships

A group of students will be selected and matched for three-week internships in August after the summer component ends. The goal of this initiative is to introduce selected students to the benefits of interning in a field that requires a college degree that could help them further define career interests. In the past, students have completed internships in education, law, medicine, computers, business, and public relations.

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Personal Attention

Upward Bound recognizes that every student is unique, and we use an individualized approach to work with them. Because each Upward Bound counselor's caseload does not exceed sixty-five students, each participant will receive a great deal of personal attention. Throughout the program, the assigned counselor meets with students to discuss personal, academic, and college-related issues. The counselor will also works closely with students to identify and apply to colleges and universities. Parents are invited to be part of this process, particularly in the application for federal financial assistance.

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Academic Achievement

A comprehensive evaluation system will be used to review the progress of each student. There will be three major evaluations – at the conclusion of the fall semester, spring term, and summer component. Final grades and academic awards received will be recorded on an official Upward Bound transcript that is provided to the colleges, universities, and scholarship programs to which you apply.

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Standards of Excellence

Students who meet the Upward Bound performance standards will advance through the program and graduate with an Upward Bound diploma.

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Additional Services

Upward Bound also provides each senior student with fee waivers for the SATs, the TOEFL, and for college and financial aid applications. Although Upward Bound does not provide financial support for students to enter college, the program does provide a great deal of assistance in helping senior students complete financial aid forms. Upward Bound counselors also work with students to find sources of scholarships and other types of aid.

In addition, all Upward Bound seniors are eligible to apply for scholarships made available by the Upward Bound Alumni Association.

There is no cost to a student's family to apply or for services provided to an enrolled student. The Upward Bound Program is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Rhode Island College, and the four target school districts.

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Page last updated: January 29, 2021