The University of North Texas at Dallas has been awarded $2.58 million through two grants from the U.S. Department of Education in support of TRIO Upward Bound programming. The five-year Upward Bound program will allow the university to better serve high schools in North Texas.

Upward Bound programming will begin this fall at UNT Dallas, targeting 60 high school students each year (120 total) in grades 9-12 from Sunset, Lincoln, Kathlyn Gilliam, Seagoville, Lancaster, and South Oak Cliff High Schools. The UNT Dallas program will encourage lower income and potential first-generation college students to complete secondary school, enroll in postsecondary education and publicize the availability of – as well as facilitate the application for – student financial assistance for persons who seek to pursue postsecondary education or complete these programs.

These are the first Upward Bound grants the UNT Dallas has received since opening in 2010. The funding of Upward Bound programming represents the institution’s largest federal award specific to improving college readiness and student retention in the history of the university.

 “This a historic milestone for our university, as we work to fulfill our mission to empower students, transform lives and strengthen communities,” said UNT Dallas President Bob Mong. “By creating and hosting an Upward Bound TRIO program, young people in our area will be able to experience our campus first-hand and better understand how education and learning can lead to new possibilities.”

UNT Dallas Upward Bound participants will have access to a wide range of free services, including weekly tutoring sessions; college campus visits and cultural enrichment opportunities. In addition, participants will have access to Saturday activities and workshops, in-school advising sessions and a “bridge” program for high school seniors that offers up to six college credits.

“We are so fortunate to be able to partner with Dallas ISD and Lancaster ISD to share in this continued vision to accelerate a college-going mindset across six high schools and help rising scholars achieve their dream of a higher education” said Dr. John Gasko, Dean of the UNT Dallas Emerging Teacher Institute and principal investigator for the grant.

The Federal TRIO Programs are Federal outreach and student services programs designed to identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. TRIO includes eight programs targeted to serve and assist low-income individuals, first-generation college students, and individuals with disabilities to progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to post-baccalaureate programs.