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We’re recruiting current 8th-11th grade high school students!

What is Upward Bound?

A FUN and ENGAGING College-Prep Program for High School Students!

The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point has hosted the Upward Bound Program for over 50 years! It’s a high school college-prep program and part of the Federal TRIO Grant Programs funded by the U.S. Department of Education. The Upward Bound Program recruits student-participants from eight target high schools in five counties from Central and Northcentral Wisconsin. Look below to find a full listing our school districts, eligibility requirements, and what we do.

Meet Our Students

Scroll through to view what current and graduated high school students say about us!
Meet Joe
Senior, Tomahawk High School
“Upward Bound has helped me prepare for college by helping me construct my college essay. The staff is fun, energetic, comforting, and easy to relate to.”
Meet Po
Sophomore, Lincoln High School, Wisconsin Rapids
“Upward Bound is an experience of a lifetime, a core memory. It will help you through your journey when older.”
Meet Lou
Upward Bound Graduate ’22, Current Freshman at UW-Stevens Point
“The Upward Bound staff are incredibly helpful. You can ask them anything and they’re always ready to aid when necessary. The program has inspired me to do better.”
Meet Daya
Junior, Stevens Point Area Senior High
“Upward Bound has helped me prepare for college by offering many tours to different colleges around Wisconsin. During the summer session, we got a lot of information about what college is like and how we can be successful.”
Meet Angelina
Senior, Lincoln High School, Wisconsin Rapids
“Applying to Upward Bound is one of the best decisions you could make. The staff are super friendly and welcoming.”
Meet Elisha
Sophomore, Waupaca High School
“I joined Upward Bound because I wanted to meet people who are interested in the same things as I am. The best part is meeting new people and experiencing new things.”
Meet Jackie
Upward Bound Graduate ’21, Current Sophomore at UW-Stevens Point
“I joined Upward Bound for guidance on preparation for college. I wasn’t the best academically, but I thought this program would help give me an incentive to better further my academics.”
Meet Samantha
Upward Bound Graduate ’21, Current Freshman at Ripon College
“Upward Bound isn’t just a great opportunity to prepare you for college. You also get to make friends and have a lot of fun!”
Meet Matthew
Upward Bound Graduate ’22, Current Freshman at UW-Milwaukee
“Upward Bound helped tremendously by offering me free tutoring services along with summer classes to prepare me for my upcoming school year. It’s an opportunity worth taking.”
Meet Lilly
Upward Bound Graduate ’22, Current Freshman at UW-Platteville
“Upward Bound has helped me to prepare for college by letting me experience college life in the dorms. They also helped teach me different ways I can pay for college.”
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Our Mission

To provide underrepresented populations of high school students in Central and Northcentral Wisconsin with academic, cultural, and personal support for the purposes of high school graduation, postsecondary enrollment, and lifelong success in a diverse world.

 

Services

The Upward Bound staff provide year-round services to the students through online tutoring, monthly school visits, college visit tours, our weekend workshops, and a live-in summer program. All services are provided to our students at no cost to them!

  1. Monthly School Visits: Our Academic Coordinator visits our students at least once per month in their high school to advise them on high school academics, social issues, and general college admission topics.
  2. 24/7 Online Tutoring and Paper Drop: Upward Bound offers FREE 24/7 online tutoring to our program participants through their tutor.com account. Students also have access to the free paper drop tool, where they may submit a writing assignment and a tutor will review it for errors and areas of improvement!
  3. Fall and Spring Workshops: Students are encouraged to attend 2 overnight weekend workshops per year (one in fall and one in spring). Students stay in a hotel overnight and attend sessions on career awareness, college planning, and being academically successful.
  4. College Visits: Students have the option to attend 2 overnight trips to visit 2-3 colleges per trip (one in fall and one in spring). This is a great opportunity for students to be exposed to different college settings.
  5. Summer Session: All students have the opportunity to spend 1 to 5 weeks living on the UWSP Campus in a residence hall, eat in the university dining center, and take high school classes to prepare them for the next year. Students can earn 1 elective high school credit for participating which looks great on college applications!

Program Success

Upward Bound tracks student-participants for multiple years, from high school through college graduation. On average, 85 percent of Upward Bound graduates will graduate high school and immediately attend an institution of higher education, which is a significant increase in college/university attendance compared to students of the same background whom do not join the program. Overall, Upward Bound is a successful program for students looking to make the most of their educational experience.

Almond-Bancroft, WI

  • Almond-Bancroft High School

Minocqua, WI & Lac du Flambeau, WI Areas

  • Lakeland Union High School

Nekoosa, WI

  • Nekoosa High School

Rosholt, WI

  • Rosholt High School

Stevens Point, WI Area

  • Stevens Point Area Senior High School (SPASH)
  • P. J. Jacobs Junior High School
  • Ben Franklin Junior High School
  • Point of Discovery School

Tomahawk, WI

  • Tomahawk High School

Waupaca, WI

  • Waupaca High School

Wisconsin Rapids, WI

  • Lincoln High School

Eligibility

8th-11th grade students who are in our school districts must meet ONE of the following two requirements:

  1. Be a would-be-first-generation college students (i.e. biological/adoptive parents have less than a four-year bachelors degree) OR
  2. Come from a low-income family, as determined here.

To begin, complete the online Pre-Application below, which takes about 3 to 5 minutes.

PRE-APPLICATION

After reviewing the information, we will send you a letter in the mail within 7 days.  You may also receive a text message or an email from a staff member to thank you for your application and to follow up with any questions we may have.

Schedule an online or in-person meeting with Interim Upward Bound Academic Coordinator, Pa Chee Thao.

Schedule an online or in-person meeting with Upward Bound Advising Specialist, Jeff Christensen.

Upward Bound offers FREE 24/7 online tutoring to our program participants through their tutor.com account. Students also have access to the free paper drop tool, where they may submit a writing assignment and a tutor will review it for errors and areas of improvement!

Log in to your tutor.com account here.

USERNAME: Your username is an email (either personal or school) that you provided us
PASSWORD: upwardbound

If you are having troubles logging in or don’t know your username email, contact Pa Chee Thao at pthao@uwsp.edu or UpwardBound@uwsp.edu.

 

 

Keely Hanson, former Upward Bound Peer Coach
Keely Hanson, former Upward Bound Peer Coach

What is a Peer Coach?

A Peer Coach is a student guide in Upward Bound for other UB students who are newer in the program. They will provide information, encouragement, skills, perspective, and feedback to the newer students. They are an additional resource to help our newer members succeed!

What are the criteria for being a Peer Coach?

1.     Be an active Upward Bound participant by attending required activities.

2.     Be in good academic standing with a GPA of 2.5 or higher, but a 3.0 is preferred.

3.     Be a high school junior or senior participant of UB (apply as a sophomore or junior).

4.     Can commit for one summer and the following academic year (June-June).

5.     Can develop positive relationships with students from diverse backgrounds.

6.     Have a strong desire to help other students attain academic and career goals.

7.     Can maintain an appropriate conduct with other students.

8.     Can keep personal information confidential.

9.     Adheres to Upward Bound Rules and Policies.

How can I become a Peer Coach?

You can begin the process by reading the Peer Coach Job Description below. If you feel like you qualify and can handle the responsibility required, complete the online application. This is a great leadership opportunity to put on your list of activities for college applications!

*Applications for 2023 will be released in April 2023

 

Peer Coach Job Description

Peer Coach Job Description.pdf

 

Peer Coaching Handbook

Below is a link to the Upward Bound Peer Coaching Handbook for reference.

Upward Bound Peer Coaching Handbook.pdf

Upcoming Events and Activities

for Current Upward Bound Students

Your Local High School

December 2022 School Visits

December 6-21, 2022

Our Interim Academic Coordinator, Pa Chee Thao will visit each of our high schools once per month. Check the following calendar to view the date and time she will be at your school. REQUIRED FOR EVERYONE
UWSP Campus, College of Professional Studies Building

Junior ACT Bootcamp

February 25, 2023

All Juniors are REQUIRED to attend the ACT Bootcamp on Saturday February 25, 2023. With the ACT Boot Camp, Juniors will get the final push they need to score college ready on the ACT with ZERO class interruption. In just one day, students will learn: Pacing and time management, Test-taking and guessing strategies, Tips for the most important question types
UWSP Campus

Freshman Focus Summer Program

June 17-23, 2023 (1 week)

This is a one-week introduction to Upward Bound and High School, where current 8th graders, known as rising freshman (would-be 9th graders in fall 2023) live on the UW-Stevens Point Campus. Please save the date. More information will come, including an orientation in May 2023. Current 8th graders must apply to the program and will first be able to start the program during Freshman Focus.
UWSP Campus

Summer Session

July 5 – August 11 (5 weeks)

Rising Sophomores through Seniors (10-12th graders in fall 2023) have the opportunity to spend 5 weeks living on the UWSP Campus in a residence hall, eat in the university dining center, and take high school classes to prepare them for the next year. Students can earn 1 elective high school credit for participating which looks great on college applications! Please save the date. More information will come, including an orientation in May 2023.

Upward Bound Staff

View Profiles to Schedule a Meeting*

*Meetings only available with Jeff Christensen and Pa Chee Thao.

Judy Young

  • Upward Bound Director
Upward Bound Program
715-346-2940

Jeff Christensen

  • Upward Bound Advising Specialist
Upward Bound Program
715-346-2147

Pa Chee Thao

  • Interim Upward Bound Academic Coordinator
Upward Bound Program
715-346-4017

Cindy Jordan

  • Upward Bound Administrative Assistant
Upward Bound Program
715-346-2136