JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The U.S Department of Education awarded Jackson State University (JSU) two Upward Bound grants of $1.4 million individually, which will be dispersed annually over five years totaling $2.8 million.

“As a former Upward Bound participant, I am very excited to add the Upward Bound Program to our TRIO program offerings,” said Mitchell Shears, Ph.D, executive director of JSU Title III programs. “The UB program will focus solely on high school students and could definitely be a driving force for increased postsecondary enrollment and completion which are two of the objectives.”

A federal TRIO program, Upward Bound is an intensive intervention program that prepares students for higher education through various enrichment courses and aims to increase the rate at which participants complete secondary education and enroll in and graduate from institutions of postsecondary education.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, 86 percent of Upward Bound participants enroll in postsecondary institutions immediately following high school graduation.

The two JSU Upward Bound programs, JSU Tiger Survivors and JSU Navigators, will provide fundamental support to participants in preparation for their higher education pursuits.

Over five years, the program will serve the following four local high schools: Forest Hill, Wingfield, Callaway, and Murrah. The JSU Tiger Survivors Upward Bound program will specifically target students who attend Forest Hill and Wingfield High School. In contrast, the JSU Navigators Upward Bound program will target students attending Callaway and Murrah High School.

The Upward Bound program is slated to begin in September 2022 with program directors recruiting students in the selected high schools. This is the first UB grant for JSU since 2017.