Central State’s $1.6M Upward Bound grant to help local high schoolers

WILBERFORCE — Central State University has received $1.6 million from the U.S. Department of Education to help more students enter and succeed in college through the university’s Upward Bound program.

Money from the five-year grant will pay for three faculty members and 10 current college students to provide weekly academic tutoring and other college-prep services to 63 high school students per year from Jefferson High School in Jefferson Twp., and Meadowdale and Thurgood Marshall High Schools in Dayton, according to CSU officials.

Each six-week long program also will provide those students with advisement in secondary and postsecondary course selection, ACT/SAT preparation, financial aid information and assistance with filing their FAFSA. Upward Bound’s programs during both the summer and academic year include pathways for students who dropped out to complete their high school education, financial literacy education, and access to professional mental health services.

ExploreCentral State plans new workforce training center in Dayton with $3.6M grant

Students are not required to attend Central State after participating in the Upward Bound program, but the function is to “expose students to as many opportunities as possible,” said program director John Anene.

“What really makes our program even more unique is that CSU-UB will ensure that all participants have broadband access to the internet, are exposed to cultural events and academic programs, career education, and college campus life,” Anene said. “We will also provide mentoring, work-study programs, and activities to assist those with limited proficiency in English.”

The program is part of the university’s mission to “provide educational opportunities to historically underrepresented citizens,” President Jack Thomas said in a statement.

Upward Bound prepares participants “to complete an academically rigorous secondary education thus enabling post-secondary academic success,” Anene said.

“We expect to increase the number of high school graduates who enroll in college and who graduate in a timely manner,” he added.

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