Northern New Mexico College has received a competitive $256,986 a year grant for five years from the U.S. Department of Education to establish an Upward Bound Program starting in September 2017.
The grant totaling $1.28 million will serve at least 60 eligible students from Española Valley High School who encounter a variety of academic, social and economic challenges that impede their opportunity for postsecondary education.
Upward Bound is a federal program designed to support low-income students from all backgrounds. It offers free services, including academic tutoring, mentorship, financial guidance, as well as enrichment activities that improve educational access and retention.
Upward Bound advisors engage students in weekly academic and cultural activities, career and college exploration, and financial awareness.
Students also participate in a six-week summer program designed to simulate the college experience and prepare them academically for the coursework of the coming semester.
"This grant will provide new opportunities to our local high school students to become much better prepared to face the challenges of college,” said Northern’s Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Ivan Lopez. “It will ultimately be a game changer in their lives."
Tobe Bott-Lyons, Student Success Coordinator said, "Upward Bound is a very competitive national grant program, so this is a great honor and accomplishment for the community. Through this program, Northern will be able to deepen its partnership with Española Valley High School to make college more accessible for all students in the Valley."
More than 62,000 high school students around the country receive services through Upward Bound, which works to inspire low-income, first-generation, and rural students to attend college.
The U.S. Department of Education reports 86 percent of Upward Bound students who graduated from high school in the spring of 2014 enrolled in college that fall.
Upward Bound is one of eight Federal TRiO Programs designed to identify and provide services to individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Northern New Mexico College is a minority-serving institution, offering bachelor's, associate, and certificate programs.
The college primarily serves rural communities within a 40-mile radius of its campus in Española, New Mexico, within one of the most underserved regions in the state.