Upward Bound, a national program working to prepare disadvantaged and first-generation students for college and advanced education, is looking for summer advisers from ACU.
Advisers help applicants achieve their educational goals and excel in the classroom through various opportunities and services provided by Upward Bound. They stay on campus over the summer to serve as RAs to the visiting high school students. D’Angelo Sands, academic development adviser, said that tutoring is a small part of the job, but the larger picture is the connection that will form between the advisers and the students.
“Our goal is to give younger students the full experience of what college will be like,” Sands said. “While they are here, they’ll take their courses, but more importantly, they’ll get to connect to older students who are completing college and observe what their life will be like in a few years.”
According to the U.S. Department of Education, Upward Bound was created “to increase the rate at which participants complete secondary education and enroll in and graduate from institutions of post-secondary education.”
The program was built to assist high school students from low-income families and high school students from families in which neither parent has earned a bachelor’s degree.
Among the Upward Bound’s services are cultural enrichment activities, financial aid advising, SAT and ACT prep, campus site visits, stipends and college application and selection. Personalized academic advising is available to all students in the program to help them understand which skills would be most helpful to develop to be successful in high school and college. Also available to students who have completed high school is the Summer Bridge Program, during which applicants will live on a college campus and take courses. Once they finish the Bridge Program, they will have earned six college credits.
In addition to the academic challenges, the cultural enrichment activities are another draw for the program. In a typical summer, participants will travel through the country to places like Arkansas, Louisiana, Chicago and New York to experience different cultures and ways of life. While in Abilene, there will be several outings such as the “Upward Bound Night Out” in which students will be taken to a Shakespearean play or a movie and dinner.
Advisers are a vital part of the success of the Upward Bound program. They personalize an academic plan for each of their students to help accelerate their learning patterns. Advisers also fulfill other responsibilities such as helping students write college admission essays, find scholarships and participate in community service projects. More importantly, they will have an excellent opportunity to work with young people, a perk which has attracted many teaching and psychology majors over the years.
“This is a great opportunity for our college students to invest in the next generation,” Sands said. “It’s always beneficial to work with younger people, and I think there are certain majors that will be more attracted to that than others, but it’ll be a great experience for anyone who signs up.”
For more information about applying to be a summer adviser, call 325-674-2448 or 325-674-2514 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.