UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls
Ballard High School teacher Eric Muhs, left, of Seattle, Wash., works with Upward Bound students Waew Lee, 14, and Tria Thao, 15, both of St. Paul, Minn., in the Active Learning Classroom at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls making sensor-driven LED clothing during a session held on campus in July 2017.
August 10, 2017-- The University of Wisconsin-River Falls recently received a $1.57 million grant from the United States Department of Education that will fund its Upward Bound program for the next five years.
Upward Bound serves high school students from low-income and disadvantaged families by providing free academic support and pre-college experiences. UW-River Falls has participated in the program since 1999.
“Upward Bound helps plant the seed for high school students and in our case, it allows us to give them the ‘River Falls experience’,” said Program Director Bee Vang. “Students stay in residence halls, they’re on campus for four weeks each summer and that allows students to come and be inspired by the college experience.”
UWRF’s program serves Washington Technology Magnet School of St. Paul, Minn.
“This program turns college from a dream to a reality for our kids, most of whom will be first generation college students,” said Mike McCollor, principal at Washington Technology Magnet School. “The staff members make the learning and hard work fun and are very motivational and inspirational for our students.”
This summer, students stayed on the UW-River Falls campus for the last two weeks of June and the first two weeks of July, before taking a class trip to Fresno, Calif.
“The students toured Fresno State University and visited Yosemite National Park,” Vang said. “Part of the program involves cultural experiences students might not otherwise have.”
Students, who can utilize the program for all four years of their high school experience, also receive year-round tutoring, academic skill building and help with ACT preparation.
“The students selected for the program are excited to receive mentoring, and most especially, the extended time where they live on the UWRF campus,” McCollor said.
“The value we place on the program is being able to put our resources where our mouth is,” Vang said. “We’re glad to have campus support.”
Founded in 1874, UW-River Falls is located in a scenic community just 30 miles from downtown St. Paul, Minn. UW-River Falls students are empowered, beginning in their first semester, to participate in hands-on research, global travel, and collaborative learning with award-winning and caring faculty.