The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Opinion

April 18, 2013

Upward Bound program keeps many students from falling through the cracks

ENID, Okla. — Going to college is an automatic transition for many high school graduates, but not all students are raised the same way under the same circumstances.

Upward Bound has operated at Northern Oklahoma College for five years. The college-preparatory program works with high school students starting when they are freshmen, to encourage them to get a college degree.

Participants in Upward Bound must meet one or both of the program’s criteria: Neither parent has a college degree, or the family meets income guidelines.

During the school year, the students earn a $40 monthly stipend for participating, and get tutoring, academic advising, college admission information, financial aid information, preparation for ACT or SAT tests, career counseling and cultural activities.

This great program provides additional support for students that might otherwise fall through the cracks.

Some teens desire higher education but may not have as many experiential resources if their parents haven’t attended college. This program helps their navigation system.

Upward Bound provides life skills in an academic setting. Students learn to advocate for themselves with teachers. The program also monitors their grades to assure collegiate dreams become reality.

For some students, this college-preparatory program is a way to become familiarized with the campus setting.

“You get a sense of college while you’re in high school, and that sense helps prepare you,” said Nubia Ramirez, 20, who plans to enroll at NWOSU and major in international business administration.

“It’s like an extra parent who pushes you to go to college.”

Who doesn’t need an extra push every once in a while?

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