Congratulations are in order for the Upward Bound (UB) and Upward Bound Math Science (UBMS) programs housed at UW-Green Bay. The Department of Education invited UB and UBMS programs to submit ideas for how they could improve the STEM options currently offered by their programs. Winners would receive one-time supplemental funds to increase or expand STEM-focused activities. Both programs received notification that each would receive the $40,000 supplemental funds to implement the proposed plans.
The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s TRIO programs — Upward Bound (UB) and the Regional Center for Math and Science (RCMS) — have been renewed and will receive $1.7 million in funding for the Upward Bound and $1.6 million in funding for the RCMS program from the Department of Education Office of Federal TRIO Programs. This grant assures the two programs’ continuation for the next five years, UB through 2022 and RCMS through 2023. The Green Bay Press-Gazette had coverage.
Assures continuation of programs for five years to assist low-income, college-bound students
GREEN BAY — The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s TRIO programs — Upward Bound (UB) and the Regional Center for Math and Science (RCMS) — have been renewed and will receive $1.7 million in funding for the Upward Bound and $1.6 million in funding for the RCMS program from the Department of Education Office of Federal TRIO Programs. This grant assures the two programs’ continuation for the next five years, UB through 2022 and RCMS through 2023. Statistics demonstrate the impact these programs have on students who participate in them at UW-Green Bay:
-76% of UW-Green Bay Upward Bound participants go to college (versus 63% nationally).
-93% of UW-Green Bay RCMS participants attend college (versus 63% nationally).
-68% of those RCMS participants who go to college graduate with majors in STEM fields (versus 17% nationally).
Both programs were introduced to aid first-generation low-income families. UW-Green Bay Upward Bound serves high school students from the Green Bay Area Public Schools, and the Regional Center for Math and Science program serves students from 20 high schools throughout Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan. The Upward Bound Math/Science Program was established in 1990 to address the need for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) instruction. There are 810 Upward Bound programs in the nation and 147 RCMS programs, UW-Green Bay is proud to host both.
‘Low-income, first-generation know no town or city limits’
“Low-income, first-generation circumstances know no town or city limits,” UW-Green Bay TRIO program director, Michael Casbourne states. “It could be a farm family in Tigerton or a family living in the midst of industrial Detroit. We want any and all of them to embrace this opportunity to break away from their circumstances. Some of the most touted UW-Green Bay graduates have come from the smallest, most rural high schools, gone through Upward Bound or RCMS, went to college, graduated, and gone on to do amazing things.” UW-Green Bay TRIO alumni are teaching ophthalmology at the Medical College of Wisconsin Eye Institute, doing research at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and working as a NASA project manager. They are entrepreneurs, chiropractors, nurses, pharmacists, and teachers.
Upward Bound and RCMS offer a six-week residential pre-college program each summer and academic year programming from the time of enrollment until graduation. Students live on campus, take classes tailored to their needs and interests, and experience college life while gaining an understanding of the responsibility and effort it takes to succeed. Forty-nine instructors, faculty, counselors, residence hall assistants, graduate and administrative staff work side-by-side with these students to teach them, prepare them, and support them. During the school year, students have access to tutoring and academic counseling to keep them on track for graduation and a future in a post-secondary institution.
Program counteracts barriers that keep talented students out of college
“Upward Bound and RCMS exist to counteract the barriers that keep talented students, from low-income families, out of college,” Casbourne. These include lack of financial resources, not understanding the paperwork needed for admission into college, parents who are unable to relate to the college experience, low self-esteem, and lack of resources, to name a few. Upward Bound and RCMS eliminate those barriers and help the participants navigate college academically and socially. “The objective is to help students understand and believe that they indeed belong in college, they deserve to be there, and they can succeed there,” Casbourne says.
Students pay no fees. Classes, housing, meals, transportation, faculty, staff, programs, group outings, and more, are all covered by the grant.
“We definitely help stimulate the Green Bay economy,” Casbourne says. “Bowling alleys, the Weidner Center, Bullfrogs and Gamblers games, Door Shakespeare, museums and art fairs, festivals…we want to give these kids varying experiences. Green Bay and surrounding communities offer ample unique opportunities for learning and socializing, and we participate in as many as we can. Plus, we’re a huge source of revenue for the summer UW-Green Bay housing and food service areas.”
The programs also employ local university professors and teachers. “We have the most amazing staff,” Casbourne says. “This is not compulsory education. Students really want to participate and succeed. The student to teacher ratios are much lower, more like 10 or 12 to one versus 25 or 26 to one. It gives our teachers a chance to build a different relationship with students, and that refreshes and recharges them.”
Biology student April Thao will be graduating in Fall 2018 with an emphasis in microbiology and a minor in chemistry. Her plans are to attend a pharmaceutical school. She credits UW-Green Bay RCMS.
“RCMS made the impossible possible. I was able to find my passion and pursue it.” Thao already gives back to the program and the students in it, too. “I’m a lab assistant and I’m a teaching assistant for RCMS. This program has meant so much to me; I want to be there for others in it. This is like my family, my second home.”
This is an investment in past success
The grant is not automatic every award cycle. It has to be reapplied for, and those in competition for the funds must meet stringent requirements to be considered. Michael Casbourne is proud to say the continued success of his programs is a premeditator for renewal.
“We’re really good at what we do,” he says. “We have a proven model, a great staff…we set high objectives and meet them, and most importantly, we do right by the kids.” During the renewal process, established programs are given “proven experience points” based on outcomes. UW-Green Bay’s program scored a 14 out of 15 this last cycle. “We missed a point because I set high objectives for our students. They were so close, but just missed it,” he says with a smile.
2.5% increase will reinstate a work-study program, provide real-world opportunities
Historically, grant renewal dollars have been relatively consistent. This latest renewal, however, showed an increase of nearly 2.5%. The total amount for RCMS is $318,000 each year for five years and for UB it is $338,953. Casbourne plans on using the increase to reinstate a community work-study program for Upward Bound so students can begin working in their areas of interest and earn money for college. For the RCMS program, he intends on establishing more resources for ACT/SAT preparation to help students improve their scores.
It is clear what this grant renewal means for the UW-Green Bay Upward Bound and RCMS programs: at least five more years of assisting low-income, first generation students prepare for success in high school and college. According to Yorchei Xiong, a UW-Green Bay computer science major, it extends way beyond just being academically prepared for college. “Academically, socially, personally…it taught me how to manage my time, take responsibility, and be an adult. I was accepted as who I was…timid and unsure at first…but now I’m so much more self-confident, and comfortable with myself and who I am as a person. I’m excited for the future…for my future.”
Eighty students at a time are allowed in each of the two programs. To qualify for either program, a student must be enrolled at a target school (or an eighth grader at a feeder school), not have finished their junior year of high school, and be at or below the federally determined low-income level, and/or be a potential first-generation student. Two-thirds of the participants within the program must meet both criteria. A student must also have at least a 2.0 GPA (on a 4.0 scale), and have a goal of entering a postsecondary institution.
About the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is a comprehensive public institution offering undergraduate and graduate programs to 7,158 students. The University transforms lives and communities through exceptional and award-winning teaching and research, innovative learning opportunities and a problem-solving approach to education. For more information, visit www.uwgb.edu.
The TRiO programs send appreciation for the creative efforts of more than 30 volunteers for Make a Difference Day. Volunteers crafted about 170 holiday cards for area veterans in just three hours! Thanks to student workers Brianna Fischer and Rose Hiebl’s direction and advice, (with help from Pinterest), all cards were both beautiful and personal. Each year, the Upward Bound program sends approximately 1,000 holiday cards to disabled veterans. Thanks to the UWGB Make a Difference Day, there are only 870 cards yet to make. If you are interested in helping, two more card-making dates are scheduled: From 2 to 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 18, and 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3. Locations to be determined. Stop by the TRiO office at SS-1721 (across from the Dean’s office) if you want to help and these dates don’t meet your needs.
Their goal was a daunting 900 cards. With the help of many people across campus and throughout the community, staff in the TRIO Office at UW-Green Bay not only met the goal, but exceeded it by over 100 cards! “Thank you to all who donated their time and/or resources from their holiday, paper-writing and exam preparations to assist in this endeavor.” Participants included UWGB students and staff, SASU, the Boy and Girl Scouts of De Pere, the Vets 4 Vets Club, and A’Viands. “Together with the TRIO Upward Bound high school students, we were able to make the holidays a little brighter for the residents of the Wisconsin Veterans Home in King and the Western Nebraska Veterans Home. The cards were very creative, festive and thankful. A shout out to you all – thank you very much!”
The goal is 900 handcrafted and personally signed cards – as of now they have 175 completed cards, and another 546 that either need a little work or a message written inside of them. If you have any time to pitch in, please stop by at the TRIO and Precollege office for more information (located across the hall from the Dean of Students Office in Student Services). They have a large office set aside specifically for card-making. Come for a few minutes, or for a few hours. All are welcome.
Last Saturday, Nov. 14, the TRIO Office and student Vets 4 Vets club hosted an official card-making party in the Phoenix Rooms in the University Union. It was an awesome turnout! In addition to 57 Upward Bound high school students and staff, another 33 people attended including UW-Green Bay students, veterans, local Boy and Girl Scouts, UWGB staff and TRIO summer resident assistants. In addition, many members of SASU also contributed their time and effort to the project. Over 100 people volunteered at least an hour or more of their time.
Again this year, TRIO and the student Vets 4 Vets club intend to make a difference in the lives of American veterans residing at the Wisconsin Veterans Home in King, Wis., and the Western Nebraska Veterans Home in Scottsbluff. For some vets, organizers note, the only holiday card they received last year was from the TRIO Upward Bound students and Vets 4 Vets members. “Please consider assisting us in this effort. We need to make about 900 cards in less than a month! We did it last year (barely, but we did it), and with your help we can do it again. And you don’t need to be the ‘crafty’ sort in order to help!” On Saturday, Nov. 14, from 1:30 to 5 p.m., there will be a card-making party in the Alumni Rooms in the University Union. All supplies will be provided, as well as examples from Pinterest and advice from ‘craftier’ participants if you need inspiration or a template… or you can help simply by writing notes inside the cards. A’viands will be providing cookies, punch and cappuccino. Members of the Vets 4 Vets Club will be there, as well as the Upward Bound students and members of SASU. Come join the fun, and help us let a veteran know how much his or her service to our country is appreciated. For more information, check out our slideshow outside our office in Student Services at SS-1721, just down the hall from the Dean of Students office. Better yet, stop on in and see us! Or email Jayne or call 465-2445. If your organization is interested, we would love to speak with you. Please help us make a difference!”
Just as UW-Green Bay TRIO staffers said farewell to more than 80 middle and junior high school students, the main thrust of their summer began with the arrival of almost 100 high school students. Funded by a federal grant aimed at encouraging low-income and first-generation high school students to attend college, these students live on campus for six weeks, taking classes taught by UW-Green Bay professors and other teachers from throughout the area. TRIO at UW-Green Bay hosts two programs: Upward Bound, which serves high school students from the Green Bay schools of East, West, and Preble; and the Regional Center for Math and Science, serving students from 20 high schools throughout Wisconsin and from Minneapolis and Detroit. For the students, the month-and-a-half summer program is part of a year-long process of tutoring, mentoring and advising. The goal is to assist these students to succeed academically in achieving a degree from a four-year university. Upward Bound encourages you to please welcome these students if you see them on campus… they may very well be a UWGB Phoenix in the near future!
Along with a myriad of other summer camps across campus these days, the Office of TriO and Precollege is currently running three, two-week summer programs for middle schoolers. The state Department of Public Instruction annually provides grant funds for bright, low-income children to study in a college atmosphere, and the Precollege Office at UWGB has been awarded funds for this purpose for the past 20 years. The programs offered include the Young Writer’s Workshop, Learning With Legos, and Stars of the Future. The students are exposed to fun and exciting classes and other activities with the intent of planting an early seed of attaining a college education in these students’ minds. There are currently 83 students here from 17 schools across the state. They will remain here until June 26. Please help us welcome potential future UWGB students!