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Virginia Highlands Community College (Upward Bound)

  • Leigh Ann Adams
  • Director

Program Description

Upward Bound programs are sponsored by institutions of higher education across the country with a target area to serve. There are many Upward Bound programs in operation around the country. The Upward Bound program of Virginia Highlands Community College (VHCC), located in Abingdon, Virginia, serves students in Smyth County, Washington County, and the City of Bristol. The five high schools served are: Chilhowie, Holston, Northwood, Patrick Henry, and Virginia High.

TRIO at a Glance:

Upward Bound is a TRIO program. The name "trio" was first used in the late 1960's to describe the first three federal outreach programs -- Upward Bound, Talent Search, and Student Support Services. The label TRIO applies to those programs contained in Title IV of the regularly amended Higher Education Act of 1965.

Upward Bound:

The oldest of the TRIO programs, Upward Bound is designed to generate skills and motivation among secondary level students that are necessary for success in post secondary education. It was created in the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964. Permissible services provided to students in Upward Bound include instruction in basic skills needed to succeed in post secondary education, academic support services, exposure to cultural events, career counseling, and mentoring programs involving teachers.

Students participating in Upward Bound programs may receive stipends of up to $60 during the summer, and $40/month during the rest of the year. Upward Bound programs are sponsored by higher education institutions, public and private nonprofit agencies, and in exceptional cases by secondary schools.

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
  • Science, tech, engineering, & math (STEM)


Education Level and
Number of Students

  • High School: 70
  • Middle School: 0
  • Elementary School: 0
  • Post-secondary: 0
  • Non-traditional: 0

Populations Served

  • Academically At-risk


  • More than 75%

Colleges Attended
by Alumni

  • Emory & Henry College
  • Ferrum College
  • King University
  • Virginia Highlands Community College
  • Wytheville Community College