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ISU TRiO Upward Bound Summer Program attracts about 60 participants to campus

July 20, 2009
ISU Marketing and Communications

Nearly 60 students are on Idaho State University’s campus this summer, learning the skills they need to be successful university students through the summer Upward Bound program.

Forty-eight of the participants are high school students. Eight more are “bridge students,” according to Mike Echanis, director of TriO Student Services at Idaho State University. Bridge students are recently graduated high school seniors who have participated in the Upward Bound program for at least two years and are enrolled in college-level courses that fulfill bachelor degree requirements.

The Upward Bound students arrived on campus June 8 and their session ends July 31.

“Upward Bound is a federally-funded program administered by Idaho State University designed to enhance the skills and motivation necessary for success in education beyond high school for youth of low-income families who are potential first-generation college students,” Echanis said.

Students who participate in the Summer Upward Bound program enroll in three classes during the course of the day, from 8:30 a.m. – 3:50 p.m., with a break for lunch. A later afternoon comprehensive, academic study session is scheduled for all each day, with an emphasis on providing assistance with assigned homework and offering help with study skills and test preparation, along with time management and other college skills. All services are at no cost to the family.

“We expose them to a whole gamut of activities,” Echanis said. “It is intense preparation for the academic, social and emotional rigors of pursuing a post-secondary education so they can make a successful transition. We not only want the increased post-secondary enrollment of these students, but a higher percentage earning their baccalaureate degrees.”

The students are also exposed to living on campus and are given the opportunity to attend campus entertainment and social events during the summer, such as riding ice blocks down the hills at Bartz Field or attending an evening concert on the Hutchinson Quadrangle.

“Just being a resident on campus is a highly educational and positive experience for the students,” Echanis said.

The TriO Upward Bound program at Idaho State University is a participant in the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) program through the state of Idaho. Upward Bound students are educated to proper nutrition standards set forth by the USDA and are monitored for proper compliance to daily breakfast, lunch and dinner meals consumed during their summer Upward Bound experience.

Documentation is submitted to the USDA and the Upward Bound program is financially reimbursed for a portion of the total meal costs accrued during the summer program. The USDA has been instrumental in providing much needed nutritional education to program participants over the years and has helped defray some of the financial costs incurred in the program.

Visit www.isu.edu/trio for more information on the ISU Upward Bound program.


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