(Release: April 2, 2013) - Since Hagerstown Community College received a $1.25 million U.S. Department of Education grant to start an Upward Bound program in the fall of 2012, 48 local high school students have been recruited to participate. This free program is designed to increase the high school graduation and college completion rates of low-income or first-generation college students. HCC is working in partnership with Washington County Public Schools to further enhance evolving curricular changes that are designed to result in higher college attendance rates.
Four area high schools have been selected to participate and each school has a teacher in the role of Upward Bound coach to help mentor students and serve as the liaison between their school and HCC. The coaches are Tracy Rider at Hancock Middle Senior High School, Beth Hoffman at North Hagerstown High School, Kimberly Toms at South Hagerstown High School, and Robert Rubeck at Williamsport High School. Students at these schools, in grades eight through 12, continue to be recruited to participate in the program. The Upward Bound program will serve 70 students annually.
The program provides after-school tutoring twice per week, two Saturday morning workshops per month, and educational and cultural field trips throughout the school year. There is no charge for students to participate and transportation and food is provided.
Accepted students have had an opportunity to develop their organization, time management, and study skills in addition to learning about career pathways, college majors, SAT testing and college placement testing. They have visited and toured three college campuses and explored the National Aquarium at Baltimore. Several other Upward Bound workshops and field trips are planned in the coming months to assist students in growing both personally and academically.
The focus for the younger students is on academic skill-building and college and career exploration. College readiness, particularly in math, English, lab science, and foreign language, is the focus for the older students. The program includes a summer academy on the HCC campus, designed to further increase academic readiness. Through the Upward Bound Summer Academy, students will meet Monday through Friday mornings for six weeks. Graduating seniors have the opportunity to earn free college credit through the summer bridge program at HCC before entering their freshman year at the college of their choice.
For more information on the Upward Bound program or to download an application, visit www.hagerstowncc.edu/upwardbound or contact Mylynh Nguyen, HCC Upward Bound Coordinator, at 240-500-2584 or firstname.lastname@example.org.