By: Phillip “Flapp” Cockrell, Ph.D. | Jackson State University
The Upward Bound Program challenged higher education with the premise that a summer experience on a college campus would have a transformative impact on the lives of low-income students from minority backgrounds. It was Examined whether that premise is supported by the research by reviewing findings on the experiences of students in Upward Bound Summer Bridge Programs at Historically Black Colleges and Universities – after the bridge summer and again after the first semester of college. Findings include impacts on students’ perceptions of themselves, of academics, of their families and friends, on their aspirations and on their confidence in their ability to complete college. In addition, the findings from this study yield recommendations as to what Upward Bound and similar programs can do to support students in their transition from high school to college and steer them toward college graduation.