Georgian Court receives $250K for Upward Bound

LAKEWOOD – Fifty students from Lakewood High School will get the extra help needed to graduate from high school and get accepted to college, thanks to Georgian Court University’s Upward Bound Program.

The program, granted $250,000 in December by the U.S. Department of Education’s TRIO program, seeks to increase the number of low-income high school students and first-generation college students who receive a bachelor’s degree.

Stating that the program will not just affect Lakewood High School, but the entire community, Georgian Court University TRIO program director Linda Jones-George said, “We are hoping to have an impact and open families to the real possibility of going to college. It is likely that these will be the first students in their families to attend college, so this program will help families to see college as an option for successive generations.”

Jones-George spoke to 65 potential Upward Bound students at Lakewood High School on April 15, recruiting for the program which will begin this summer.

According to Jones-George, Upward Bound is a pre-college program created by Congress to help first-generation college students and/or low-income high school students overcome educational, social, cultural, and other barriers to higher education. The goal of the program is to increase the rate at which participant students complete high school and go on to be accepted into and graduate from a four-year college or university.

It is one of eight federal TRIO programs. Through academic advisement, tutoring and support, Upward Bound staff members provide area high school students with the help to finish high school and make the transition to college.

The program is intended for high school students from low-income families, high school students from families in which neither parent holds a bachelor’s degree, and low-income, first-generation military veterans who are preparing to enter postsecondary education.

The Georgian Court Upward Bound Program will serve 50 eligible students from Lakewood High School, providing after-school tutoring and mentoring four days per week, cultural programs and college visits on a few select weekends throughout the school year, and a summer residential component on the Georgian Court campus in Lakewood.

“For several weeks during the summer, we will provide the required components of academic instruction in mathematics, laboratory sciences, composition, literature and foreign languages to better prepare students for success in the next academic year, or to address deficiencies from the previous year,” Jones-George said.

“Our goal is not just to enroll students in the program, but for our students to have success where they stay with the program so we can retain them,” she added. “This can have a lasting and longstanding impact on the community, especially in population segments that have not had access to higher education.”