Mount Wachusett Community College has been awarded an Upward Bound Math and Science grant from the US Department of Education for five years beginning September 1, 2022. The grant amount is $312,480 annually or $1.6 million over 5 years. The Upward Bound Math and Science (UBMS) grant aims to prepare high school students for postsecondary education that leads to careers in the fields of math and science.
The 5-year grant will provide a comprehensive academic year, summer, and bridge program customized to the needs of each participant, preparing high school students for postsecondary education programs that lead to careers in the fields of math and science. The UBMS program will serve 63 high school students from Gardner, Athol, and Winchendon.
“Upward Bound Math and Science programs have touched the lives of many students and their families in North Central Massachusetts,” states MWCC President James Vander Hooven. “This funding ensures that we can continue our mission to support students, families, and schools in providing access to STEM career exploration and higher education opportunities.”
During the academic year, UBMS students receive support and guidance in developing a comprehensive individual success plan. Within these plans, students will be provided a variety of in-school and out-of-school services: tutoring, advisement on secondary course selection, assistance with secondary school entry and alternative education programs, and workshops for students and parents/guardians. Additionally, STEM-based cultural/academic enrichment, hands-on labs, career speakers, and field trips are provided. Upperclassmen will have access to dual enrollment courses, SAT preparation, a college fair, college admission assistance and course selection.
“We are so excited to be able to continue to provide this opportunity for students in North Central Massachusetts. Upward Bound Math & Science students have profound learning experiences that help to inform career decisions, provide exposure to math and science in many different forms, and help students to navigate through the college decision, application, and transition process,” states Fagan Forhan, Assistant Dean of K-12 Partnerships and Civic Learning. “We are thrilled to be partnered with Winchendon, Gardner and Athol, who are all deeply committed to expanding STEM opportunities for students who perhaps don’t have a parent who have attended higher education, or who struggle to make ends meet.”
In the summer students will complete four courses in the areas of math, science, foreign language, and literature/composition during a six-week residential academy hosted on a college campus. Graduating UBMS seniors will participate in college survival and matriculation workshops as well as be encouraged to enroll in college-level courses. Up to five graduating UBMS, seniors may serve in a work-study capacity as a student-leader for UBMS.
Upward Bound Math and Science is part of the Federal TRIO Programs, founded in 1990 to address the need for specific instruction in the fields of math and science, aimed at addressing the underrepresentation of economically disadvantaged college students in math and science careers.