Congressman Sam Farr (D-Carmel) praised the announcement that Monterey Peninsula College (MPC) will receive up to $1.85 million over the course of five years to continue the TRiO Math/Science Upward Bound Program, which seeks to encourage low-income and first-generation high school students to pursue math and science majors in college and eventually careers in the field.
The six week academy simulates the college environment by having students from all over the United States live at the University of California, Santa Cruz and study marine biology through classes in marine biology, mathematics, communications, foreign language, and computer skills. The program goes beyond preparing the students for academic success by having students also attend a personal development class to increase their understanding of themselves, others and the college experience.
"The youth of today will determine our world of tomorrow," said Congressman Farr. "It is more essential than ever for our young adults, and future leaders, to be knowledgeable about the increasingly important fields based in science and math so they can be key players in our future economy. I am delighted that this grant seeks to accomplish this by enabling MPC to aid disadvantaged youths in gaining access to a college education and open the doors to a valuable career."
Since 2008, the program has repeatedly surpassed the expectations of what allotted funds are intended to achieve. More than twice the number of students the program was funded to serve actually enrolled. Each year of the program, between 98 and 100 percent of these attendees stayed for the entire session, an amount which surpassed the goal of an 80 percent retention rate. After the students completed the program, more than 89 percent of attendees went on to enroll in a postsecondary school, a quantity which exceeded the goal by 9 percent. Finally, at least 90 percent of students then stayed in college, a rate which drastically exceeded the goal of 60 percent.
"Since its inception in 1990, TRiO Math Science Upward Bound has been a dynamic part of Monterey Peninsula College Student Services," said MPC TriO Director Laurence E. Walker, dean of Student Services. "MSUB strives to deliver outstanding STEM services to underrepresented high school students, while promoting careers in math and science. Unique in its delivery of services, MSUB provides hands-on learning, academic support, exposure to professionals and a residential college experience. For over 20 years, MSUB has served this outstanding population, helping students make the transition to higher education.
In my twenty-five years as an educator, I am constantly inspired and rejuvenated by the "good work" of our TRiO professionals who year after year foster the personal growth and academic success of low-income, first-generation college students. TRiO Works!"
With this grant, underprivileged teens will continue to receive the support and experience they need in order to drastically increase the possibility of studying science and math at a postsecondary school.