Program Information


Upward Bound is a federally funded TRiO program to assist high school students in grades 9-12 to prepare for entry into college to earn a bachelor’s degree. The program is for students from families in which neither parent holds a bachelor’s degree and is income eligible according the guidelines set by the U.S. Department of Education. Students are provided free services to help them achieve their educational and career goals.

With support from John Wood Community College, Upward Bound provides students many opportunities to succeed in their futures. We work hard helping students and families understand why college is important, what it takes to get into college, and how to find ways to pay for it. Students remain in the program until they graduate from high school, and throughout this journey will learn how to become successful, build relationships, and prepare themselves for better futures.

Our Mission & Goals

Our Mission is to assist first-generation college-bound students to enroll in college, earn a 4-year degree, and become a successful professional in the career of their choice. Our goals include improving college entrance test scores, helping students apply to and pay for college, and to stay in college to complete their degree – even after they have completed the Upward Bound Program. We strive to help our students overcome the challenges and barriers that these students typically face when trying to achieve their college and career goals.

Target Schools Served

Upward Bound serves students from the following high schools:

  • Meredosia-Chambersburg High School
  • Pittsfield High School
  • Griggsville-Perry High School
  • Quincy Senior High School

Program Components

Students working around a tableAcademic Year (UB Scholars)

Students meet once a week after or during school with their Upward Bound Advisor at their high school. During the meeting, students learn about various topics that help them with their high school academics, college information, college financial aid information, and much more.

Elderly gentleman tutors two UB students

During the weekly meetings, students also have the opportunity to meet with a tutor to get assistance with their high school academics to ensure students’ grades stay on track for college admission requirements.

Students climbing a cliffSummer Program:

The Summer Program is a six-week program that helps students learn first-hand what college may be like. During the first week, students and staff travel to a wilderness team-building camp – Horn Field Campus in Macomb, IL which is associated with Western Illinois University. This experience allows students and staff to get to know each other and try new experiences. The next four weeks students attend mock-college classes at John Wood Community College and Quincy University that help them prepare for the upcoming school year to get a jump-start on their classes. Students experience classes in a unique hands-on classroom experience to enhance their learning. Students stay in Quincy University dorms during the week to also experience what dorm-life may be like. The last week of the summer program is the college tour, during which students travel to a place usually outside of the Midwest to visit colleges and experience cultures they may not be familiar with.

Many students listen to a speaker in an auditoriumAcademies (Seminars):

Upward Bound hosts Academies throughout the school year – usually at least one per quarter. Topics coordinate with our Scholar meetings that occur weekly in the schools with advisors.

Upward Bound students touring a campus

College Visits:

Throughout the school year, students have the opportunity to sign up for college visits in our surrounding tri-state area. Colleges we regularly visit include: Western Illinois University, University of Illinois – Champaign & Springfield, University of Missouri, Hannibal-LaGrange University, Culver-Stockton College, Quincy University, Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville & Carbondale, and John Wood Community College.

Program Services

Academic Assistance

  • Tutoring
  • High School Course Planning for College
  • Study Skills Improvement
  • Determine Learning Style
  • Test-Taking Skills Improvement
  • PSAE & ACT Preparation & Practice

Career Assistance

  • Career Exploration
  • Career Planning
  • Job-Shadowing Experiences
  • Work-Study Experiences

College Planning

  • College Exploration & Assistance
  • College Application Process Assistance
  • College Transitioning Assistance

Financial Assistance

  • Financial Aid Information
  • Assistance Filing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)
  • Scholarship Information
  • Assistance Applying for Scholarships
  • Students Can Earn Money While in the Program
  • Upon Program Completion, Students can earn a Scholarship to Take a Free College Course at JWCC

Cultural Trips & Events

  • UB Provides Travel & Admission to some Historic Tours, Athletic Events, etc.

Community Involvement

  • Learn the Value of Helping Others & Giving Back to the Community
  • Build Portfolio to Earn Scholarships 

Our Partners

  • Members First Community Credit Union
  • Junior Achievement of Greater St. Louis
  • National Endowment for Financial Education
  • Quincy University
  • Western Illinois University Horn Field Campus
  • Southern Illinois University Edwardsville MOSAIC
  • Council for Opportunity in Education
  • University of Illinois Extension Office
  • National College Access Network
  • College Greenlight