CCCC TRiO Upward Bound program gets supplemental funding
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SANFORD - The Central Carolina Community College TRiO Upward Bound programs have been awarded $119,922 in supplemental funding from the U.S. Department of Education on top of the $825,297 in annual funding already received for 2018-19, bringing total funding for the Upward Bound programs to $945,219, and the TRiO department funding for 2018-19 to $1.7 million. Supplemental funding for Upward Bound was provided to implement additional STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) activities, with a specific focus on computer science, among the 180 high school participants in Harnett and Lee counties.
Specifically, the U.S. Department of Education has asked Upward Bound programs to utilize this funding to support student mastery of key prerequisites to ensure success in all STEM fields; to help students develop proficiency in computer applications; to create partnerships that give students access to work-based learning experiences in STEM fields; and to increase student access to STEM coursework.
One of the major initiatives the Upward Bound Programs will launch with the new funding is a spring break computer science workshop. The weeklong workshop will consist of hands-on, inquiry-based learning experiences led by computer science faculty at Central Carolina Community College and other local partners. Throughout this week, participants will have the opportunity to engage in hands-on workshops focusing on computer programming, networking, app development, virtual reality simulation and game design, and cybersecurity. Students will also hear from local industry experts working in these fields through a career panel in which educational journeys and career paths will be discussed. The final day of the week will include a college visit to one or two colleges offering high quality and well-regarded programs in computer science and other STEM fields.
To give participants increased access to internships, apprenticeships, or other work-based learning experiences in STEM fields, the Upward Bound Programs will work with CCCC computer science faculty as well as local industry leaders to create and expand partnerships. The hope is to offer rising high school seniors the opportunity to participate in a paid internship with a mentor in the STEM fields for six weeks during the summer.
Other initiatives the Upward Bound Programs will enact with the new funding include increasing mathematics instructional support to students, adding a computer science elective course to the Residential Summer Academy, and offering multiple STEM focused special events during the academic year.
In order to support of these activities and goals, the Upward Bound programs plan to hire a full-time, temporarily-appointed STEM Program Coordinator for one year. This staff member will lead the program's efforts to offer a spring break computer science workshop week, STEM focused special events during the academic year, facilitate computer science courses during the summer program, and create or expand partnerships in the STEM fields.
Rebeccah Lystash, CCCC's Director of the TRiO Upward Bound Programs, said of the supplemental funding: "We are excited to add a new staff member to our team to strengthen the STEM programming across the Upward Bound Math Science and Upward Bound Programs. We look forward to working with other departments at CCCC to implement our Computer Science Spring Break Camp and to building partnerships with local industry to provide new internships for Upward Bound participants. The funding gives us the opportunity to infuse some new energy into the program by providing exciting, hand-on learning experiences to our students."
The Upward Bound program is one of the Federal TRiO Programs, which are outreach and student services programs designed to identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. TRiO programs emerged out of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 in response to the administration's War on Poverty. Upward Bound was the first TRiO program to be created, and TRiO now includes eight programs operated by the U.S. Department of Education targeted to serve and assist low-income individuals, first-generation college students, and individuals with disabilities to progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to post-baccalaureate programs.
The Upward Bound programs at CCCC serve high school students in Harnett and Lee counties by providing services to assist students in their preparation for college enrollment and success, including tutoring, ACT and SAT preparation, college tours, assistance applying for college admission and financial aid, career exploration, mentoring, cultural enrichment, and summer programming. There are still spaces available for new 9thgrade students to enroll in the program.
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