Students entering the ninth or tenth grades at Beaver Dam, Fond du Lac and Ripon area high schools and who are from a low-income family where no parent has earned a four-year college degree can apply for academic support through a four-year, nearly $1 million Upward Bound grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Education to Moraine Park Technical College.
The goal of Upward Bound is to increase the rate at which participants complete secondary education and enroll in and graduate from postsecondary educational institutions.
“Every parent dreams of a successful future for their children,” said U.S. Senator Herb Kohl. “This federal Upward Bound grant will provide much-needed academic support for students at area high schools partnering with Moraine Park Technical College to become first-generation college graduates with the preparation necessary for a better future in the 21st century.”
The grant spans March 31, 2008, to March 31, 2012, and will serve 60 students.
“Moraine Park is very excited to be the only technical college in Wisconsin to receive funding for Upward Bound,” said Dr. Gayle Hytrek, Moraine Park president. “This project will assist Moraine Park in our efforts to increase the number of students entering college. We are also pleased that we will be collaborating with the Beaver Dam, Fond du Lac and Ripon school districts in this effort.”
According to a 2001 U.S. Department of Education Profile Report, from 1999 to 2001 74 percent of Upward Bound participants enrolled in college after graduating from high school. Ninety percent of those students attended full-time.
“We are excited to be expanding our longstanding partnership with Moraine Park through collaboration on the Upward Bound program,” said Dr. Richard Zimman, superintendent of the Ripon Area School District. “Every child in our community, regardless of their parents’ background or income level, deserves an opportunity to be prepared to enter college and graduate with the skills for success in our society. This grant will help make the dreams of many children and parents come true. Through the Upward Bound program Moraine Park is demonstrating its continued commitment to work with local communities for the economic and personal development necessary for global competition in the 21st century.”
Dr. Don Childs, superintendent of the Beaver Dam Unified School District, also expressed his school community’s excitement over the grant. “Education is one of the strongest correlates of lifetime earning potential,” he said. “The grant will make the dream of a middle-class lifestyle a reality for participating students raised in poverty. That is good both for the students and the larger society – a true ‘win-win’ accomplishment. We look forward to partnering with Moraine Park in this initiative.”
Stan Kocos, chief professional officer of the Boys and Girls Club of Fond du Lac and the Fond du Lac School District CLC program administrator, said that many of the club members are from low-income families, high school students from families in which neither parent holds a bachelor's degree. “Boys & Girls Clubs have a common bond with Upward Bound programs, providing services that enhance pre-college performance that ultimately leads to higher education pursuits,” said Kocos. “The Upward Bound grant awarded to Moraine Park will help us provide fundamental support to Boys & Girls Club members in their preparation for postsecondary education.”
Upward Bound projects include academic instruction in mathematics, laboratory sciences, composition, literature and foreign languages. The program has two major components, according to Jackie Jarvis, Moraine Park grants associate. “There is an academic-year program with tutoring, advising, college and career preparation, and cultural- enrichment activities,” she said. “It also incorporates a six-week summer program with classes, tutoring and advising to prepare students for the following school year as well as for college.”
Laurice Freeman is a wonderful example of Upward Bound changing lives right in our communities. She went through the Upward Bound program, and her education led her to her current role of supervisor of community education services for the Fond du Lac School District.
“Upward Bound provides students with the essential tools they need in order to be successful in postsecondary education,” said Freeman. “I was the first in my family to go to college and I had no idea about the information I was missing because college wasn't talked about at home. Upward Bound not only made it possible for me to get to college, but I also developed the skills I needed in order to be an effective leader on campus and in the community. I continue to be a leader today.”
“There's an old saying that when opportunity knocks, one should take advantage of it,” said Dr. Greg Maass, superintendent of the Fond du Lac School District. “The Upward Bound program is a wonderful opportunity for our young adults in the community. It will open doors for them to continue their education beyond high school and become contributing citizens in our communities.”
This is the second U.S. Dept. of Education grant Moraine Park has received in the past 18 months. In October 2006, Moraine Park received a $1.9 million Title III grant, the largest in Moraine Park Technical College history. The grant is being used to assist the College in increasing retention rates and helping ensure students successfully achieve their educational goals.
For more information about Upward Bound at Moraine Park, call Beth Raffaelli, Moraine Park vice president of enrollment management, at 920-924-6431.