Dallas, Texas (Nov. 13, 2017) – High school students throughout the region will soon have increased opportunities to further their education and skills with the Upward Bound program at the University of North Texas at Dallas, and the students will do so with guidance from a dedicated leader they are very familiar with – Nakia Douglas.

UNT Dallas has been awarded $3.7 million over a five-year period in grants from the U.S. Department of Education for the Federally-funded TRIO programs, which identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. Douglas was recently hired by UNTD as the Executive Director of TRIO and Precollegiate Programs, and his early focus is on Upward Bound and supporting participants in their high school performance as they pursue higher education.

Douglas has been in leadership roles with the Dallas Independent School District (DISD) since 2004, including serving as a principal at an elementary, middle school, high school and magnet school. Many of the students he will working with from area communities have known Douglas for most of their lives.

“I’m a product of TRIO, and I know how exciting the opportunities are for young people who aspire to attend college,” said Douglas. “I will continue to be in these schools as much as possible to provide support and help students understand what is available. The University of North Texas at Dallas is thrilled to be a host institution for Upward Bound. We are investing in students from all backgrounds, working to make them strong in academics and have them graduate into a successful life.”

Douglas said the University of North Texas at Dallas is focusing on traditional students with its new 120-bed residence hall on campus, among other programs that helps give undergraduates a rewarding college experience. Upward Bound (UB) and McNair are part of the Pre-College Programs that are Federally-funded by TRIO. Students will come from a wide variety of backgrounds, including immigrant families and many future, first generation college students.

“Upward Bound projects provide academic instruction and a focus, and they get students excited about what education can mean to their futures,” said Douglas. “It’s really about putting energy, direction and focus toward their futures. The University of North Texas at Dallas is invested in the children of our local communities, and dedicated to being a welcoming university that gives them a great experience and creates an educated workforce for the future.”

Upward Bound provides students the opportunity to strengthen the learning skills necessary to complete high school, enroll in and graduate from college. The program emphasizes reading, writing, math, science and study skills. As many as 120 students from South Dallas could participate.

“The TRIO programs are an ideal fit for this university, and Nakia Douglas is the perfect person to direct our efforts,” said Bob Mong, UNT Dallas President. “The majority of our students come from underrepresented backgrounds, and are the first from their families to attend college. Nakia has known many of the kids in the communities that surround our campus since they were in elementary school. We have a tremendous atmosphere for learning on our campus, and he’s opening that world up to them.”

The TRIO programs will also feature the McNair Scholars Program, where 25 eligible UNT Dallas students will be provided with academic resources and support services to pursue doctoral studies after graduation. McNair Scholars will have opportunities to conduct research with faculty, participate in summer internships, attend seminars and conferences, and receive tutoring and academic counseling to prepare them for graduate school. 


The University of North Texas at Dallas is our city's emerging urban university. UNT Dallas empowers students, transforms lives and strengthens communities. Perched on a hilltop, overlooking the Downtown Dallas skyline, UNT Dallas is the only public, accredited 4-year university in the City of Dallas. UNT Dallas includes the UNT Dallas College of Law in Downtown Dallas and is part of the UNT System.