Springfield, Ohio – After five months of uncertainty, Wittenberg University was notified today that its TRIO Upward Bound Program, which has been preparing low-income high school students for college opportunities for more than 50 years, will receive a five-year grant in the amount of $516,958 per year from the United States Department of Education.
Wittenberg was among 77 universities across the country that previously had their applications rejected due to formatting errors. Thanks to the work of a bi-partisan coalition of elected officials, including U.S. Rep. Warren Davidson (R-OH), who represents Wittenberg’s Congressional District, these applications were reconsidered and ultimately approved.
“The entire Wittenberg community is deeply grateful for the persistence and perseverance of Congressman Warren Davidson and his office ensuring that our TRIO Upward Bound program continues,” said Wittenberg University President Michael L. Frandsen. “This program changes lives, and it is imperative that it continues to be offered at Wittenberg. Thanks to the efforts of Congressman Davidson and many of our campus colleagues, it now will.”
Upward Bound works to stimulate interest in college among students of low-income families or families in which there is little history of college study. The program provides role models of college-educated students and academic assistance to prepare participants for the challenge of study beyond high school.
“When Wittenberg first reached out to me about what was happening, I was lost for words,” Davidson said. “I spoke with the Secretary and found that, while this issue had been occurring for several years, it was the lawyers and bureaucratic career employees within the Department that were allowing this to happen. You don’t have to be a Republican or a Democrat to know this is wrong. I then got to work by organizing my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to fix this, and we did.”
During the school year, students are in weekly contact with Upward Bound staff members, including teachers and tutor-counselors, through classes, home visits, counseling sessions and tutorials. During the summer, students live on Wittenberg’s campus for six weeks and participate in a variety of academic, cultural and social activities. After graduating from high school, students attend the summer “Bridge” program, where they are given the opportunity to earn eight college credits from Wittenberg.
“My staff and I are elated to receive funding for another five years,” said Wittenberg TRIO Upward Bound Program Director Eddie Chambers. “It is because of the good will of people from Wittenberg, the community, our Upward Bound alumni, and members from our Congressional offices who spoke out on our behalf that we are now able to continue to serve the needs of our community. Thank you so much!”
For more information about Wittenberg’s TRIO Upward Bound Program, visit its website at https://www.wittenberg.edu/academics/upwardbound.