Oklahoma Higher Education Campus E-Clips sponsored by the Communicators Council

June 2012

TRiO Grant to Serve Low-Income and First-Generation College Students

The TRiO Upward Bound program at Oklahoma City Community College (OCCC) was recently awarded grant funding from the U.S. Department of Education.

The program will receive $310,622 per year for the next five years to serve 75 low-income and potentially first-generation college students in grades 9 through 12 from Capitol Hill, U.S. Grant, Southeast, Pathways, Moore, Southmoore, and Westmoore high schools.

“Grant-funding competitions through Upward Bound are held every five years; OCCC has been competing with schools across the nation since 1991,” Karolyn Chowning, TRiO Grant Programs director, said.

“This is the largest award OCCC has received under the TRiO Upward Bound program, and for the largest number of students,” she said.

The purpose of the TRiO programs is to increase the educational attainment of low-income and first-generation college students across the country; the purpose of TRiO Upward Bound is to provide academic counseling and enrichment services to strengthen high school students' skills for post-secondary education.

The program is measured federally by five benchmarked objectives: academic performance as measured by high school GPA, standardized test proficiency, high school graduation, postsecondary enrollment and postsecondary completion.

The OCCC TRiO Upward Bound summer academy began June 4. The six-week programs are designed for students to take courses, learn college enrollment procedures and become familiar with completing college financial aid applications.

“The summer classes prepared me for the upcoming semesters of school and it’s really fun at the same time,” Nhi Nguyen, OCCC Upward Bound alumnus and 2012 graduate of Westmoore High School, said.

“I feel that without this program, I would have been completely lost and unaware of how to move forward after high school,” Melissa Zanabria, OCCC Upward Bound alumna and 2012 graduate of Southmoore High School, said.

TRiO refers to the three original US federal programs created in the 1960’s to increase access to higher education for economically disadvantaged students. Currently, there are seven federal TRiO programs serving participants from middle school to graduate school.

Twenty-three TRiO Upward Bound projects in the state of Oklahoma received funding during this competition and 780 projects will serve approximately 62,000 students nationally.

For more information and to request an application, please contact Karolyn Chowning, OCCC TRiO Grant Programs director at (405) 682-1611, ext. 7620, or at kchowning@occc.edu. Visit the TRiO webpage at www.occc.edu/trio/.

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