Today, Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell (AL-07) announced that $1.59 million was awarded to four colleges in the 7th Congressional District for the Upward Bound Program under the U.S. Department of Education. The Upward Bound Program is one of eight Federal TRIO programs targeted to serve and assist low-income individuals, first generation college students and individuals with disabilities to progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to post baccalaureate programs.
The four institutions awarded funding are:
Lawson State Community College -- $337,500
Miles College -- $353,266
Stillman College -- $553,367
University of West Alabama -- $347,834
"I am pleased that the Department of Education will provide this important funding to four colleges in the 7th Congressional District," said Rep. Sewell. "The Upward Bound Program is critical to ensuring the success of students from all socioeconomic and education backgrounds. This funding will provide the resources needed to level the playing field and give all students the opportunity to achieve and succeed at the college level."
The Upward Bound Program participants must be first-generation college bound high school students, low-income individuals or individuals who have a high risk for academic failure and a critical need for academic support to successfully pursue a secondary school curriculum and complete a postsecondary education program within six years after high school graduation.
"We would like to thank Congresswoman Sewell for her support of the Upward Bound program," said Mattie Crawford, Director of the TRIO Classic Upward Bound Program at Lawson State Community College (LSCC). "This grant will afford LSCC the opportunity to continue developing students academically, culturally and socially while attending high school as well as prepare them to attend and complete college."
"Miles College is pleased to continue our tradition of over three decades of serving our community and youth through the Upward Bound Program," said Miles College President Dr. George T. French Jr. "We are always appreciative of Congresswoman Sewell's advocacy and support for TRIO Programs like Upward Bound."
"We are delighted to receive this funding because the Upward Bound Program is linked to college success and we are focused on improving college graduation rates for high school students in Sumter County," said Vicki Spruiell, Director of TRIO at the University of West Alabama.
"This is great news and we are excited to receive this funding for our Upward Bound Program which has been in operation at Stillman College since 1966," said Dr. Bettye Mullen, Director of Educational Support Services. "The program has served 130 students annually since its inception and is integral to helping build academic skills that assist these students in pursuing a successful post-secondary education."
Federal TRIO Programs were established by the Higher Education Act of 1965, and amended by the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008. Eligible applicants include institutions of higher education, public or private agencies or organizations, including community-based organizations with experience in serving disadvantaged youth, secondary schools, and combinations of institutions, agencies, organizations and secondary schools.