Upward Bound awarded grant through 2027

Upward Bound awarded $1.5 million grant

The Upward Bound program at South Arkansas Community College recently was awarded a grant of more than $1.5 million over the next five years from the U.S. Department of Education.

Upward Bound is part of TRIO, a set of federally-funded educational outreach programs for students from disadvantaged backgrounds, founded in 1964 through the Economic Opportunity Act. Today more than 1,000 colleges, universities and community entities host about 3,100 different TRIO programs, serving in excess of 800,000 students nationwide.

That includes Upward Bound at SouthArk, which has been in place since 2007 with the goal of encouraging and assisting students to achieve education beyond high school. It serves low-income and potential first-generation college students in grades nine through 12. Currently 63 students participate.

“Upward Bound’s pre-college planning framework assists its students in embracing more intensive academic performance habits to help their transition to post-secondary education,” SouthArk student support services dean Dr. Cassie Tavorn said. “This funding makes a very real and positive difference in the lives of our future decisionmakers.”

Upward Bound participants receive educational support throughout the academic year. The program also includes Saturday learning academies, college visits and service activities. It seeks to motivate and support students to overcome class, social and cultural barriers to accessing and succeeding in higher education. Additionally, the grant-funded program sponsors an annual six-week summer academy and a bridge program for high-school seniors who are transitioning to college.

More information is available about TRIO Upward Bound at SouthArk by contacting director Kelsey Jackson at (870) 864-7100 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..