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Columbia College of Chicago (Upward Bound)

Program Description

Upward Bound is the oldest of a group of federally funded programs known as TRIO. It is funded by the U.S. Department of Education. The purpose of Upward Bound is to help students from families with limited financial resources prepare for college. The Columbia College Chicago Upward Bound program was first funded in 1992. It serves students from two Chicago high schools: Foreman High School and Benito Juarez Community Academy. During the academic year tutoring is conducted at the target high schools. All participants are required to attend tutoring twice a week. College students of at least a junior standing conduct the tutoring, and tutoring is available in all subject areas. In addition, ACT test preparation, as well as college, financial aid and scholarship application assistance, is available during tutoring.

All participants attend a Saturday program at Columbia College twice a month from October through May. (Participants receive a stipend to cover the cost of transportation to and from the college.) The Saturday program offers students workshops in Writing, Science, Computers and Math that are taught by master high school teachers and/or college instructors. These workshops are designed to engage students in hands-on activities that will require critical thinking and enhance what is learned in the regular classroom. Activities will include creative writing, games for writers, real life applications of mathematics, scientific investigations and work with calculator and computer technology. Both study skills and computer literacy are emphasized. In addition students go on college visits and field trips to various museums, concerts, exhibits, plays and other trips of interest and educational value. Parents are expected to take an active role in their child's participation in the program.

All participants attend a six-week summer session at Columbia College. (Participants receive a stipend to cover the cost of transportation to and from the college and lunch is provided by the program.) The summer session, designed to simulate a college going experience, includes classes, tutoring, field trips, college visits, career exploration and a residential week. During the residential week students travel to a college or university outside Chicago where they live in dorms, attend their classes and participate in a variety of academic and recreational activities designed to enrich their educational experience. The summer session culminates with an awards banquet for students and their families.

Services Provided

  • Academic enrichment/tutoring/study skills
  • Arts and cultural
  • Career exploration and counseling/internships
  • College admissions guidance and counseling
  • College fairs/campus visits
  • College transition and retention support
  • Community service/service hours
  • Financial aid advising/FAFSA completion
  • Leadership development
  • Mentoring
  • Parent/family services
  • SAT/ACT and other test preparation


Race & Ethnicity

  • White: 2%
  • Asian or Pacific Islander: 2%
  • Hispanic/Latino: 88%
  • Other: 3%
  • African American: 5%

Education Level and
Number of Students

  • High School: 78
  • Middle School: 0
  • Elementary School: 0
  • Post-secondary: 0
  • Non-traditional: 0

Populations Served

  • Academically At-risk
  • Academically High-performing
  • ESL Students


  • More than 75%

Matriculation & Completion

  • 4-yr College Matriculation: 81%
  • 4-yr College Graduation: 45%