If you agree with any of the following statements, then you might benefit from student outreach services:
•I don’t have a clear goal after high school.
•I don’t have a clear career goal.
•I don’t know how I will pay for college.
•I don’t have a good sense of which university classes I should take to reach my goals.
•I don’t know the process to register for classes.
•I don’t know which office on campus to talk to if I have general questions.
•I don’t know how this school works with non-traditional students, especially veteran students.
Even if you have an idea for your personal goals, your academic goals, and your career goals, do you know how to achieve those goals? If getting into and then through college are two steps toward achieving those goals, and if you don’t know much about United States academia, then those first two steps might be difficult ones. For first-generation students, students from underrepresented populations, international students, non-traditional students, veteran students, or students who for one reason or another are simply not informed about academia, student outreach services can help.
Many colleges and universities have dedicated student outreach services that provide advising, support, programs, and connection opportunities. These schools will speak with young students (as young as fourth grade elementary school) about plans of attending college. Student outreach services can help you schedule a campus visit, think about how best to fill out your college application, and answer any other questions you might have about how to reach your goals.
The government offers one type of student outreach program. Upward Bound is a federal program of the United States Department of Education. This program’s goals are to help high school students enter and then successfully graduate from college. The students this program helps come from low-income families in which neither parent has a bachelor’s degree. Upward Bound can also benefit English language-learning students, students from underrepresented groups in higher education, students with disabilities, students who are homeless, students who are in foster care, and other disconnected students. The program’s website lists services provided such as tutoring, counseling, mentoring, cultural enrichment, and work-study programs. All Upward Bound projects must help students in the areas of mathematics, laboratory science, writing (composition), literature, and foreign language study.
Upward Bound provides programs in every state as well as the District of Columbia (Washington, DC), the Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, the Marshall Islands, Puerto Rico, and Palau. However, not every state gets the same amount of support, and not every college or university will have an Upward Bound program. For example, Rhode Island only has one Upward Bound program, which is hosted by Rhode Island College. However, Puerto Rico has thirteen Upward Bound programs hosted by nine different colleges and universities. Meanwhile, California has 145 Upward Bound programs hosted by educational corporations, community colleges, and small and large public and private universities.
For the 2018–2019 school year, Upward Bound programs were offered by 967 colleges and universities across the country. These programs benefited over 70,000 students with more than $355,000,000 in support. The number of programs offered and amount of funding provided has been steadily increasing over the last ten years.
Another specific type of outreach program is the “enrichment program.” These programs can cost thousands of dollars, and participating in one does not guarantee that you will later successfully be accepted to the university of your choice. However, if you have access to financial resources, then you could greatly take advantage of the experiences offered by enrichment programs. For example, Summer Discovery is a pre-college academic enrichment program in which students live on a college campus, explore university towns, and are taught by university instructors during the summer months. Middle school programs have partnerships with the University of California, Los Angeles; the University of Colorado Boulder; and Georgetown University. High school programs have partnerships with Cambridge University (UK); City University (UK); the University of California, Los Angeles; the University of California, Santa Barbara; the University of Colorado Boulder; Georgetown University; Johns Hopkins University; the University of Michigan; the University of Miami; Pace University; the University of Pennsylvania; the University of Texas at Austin; and Yale-NUS College (Singapore). Some partial scholarships are available, but students should still expect to pay fees of a few thousand dollars.
It feels nice to join a university if its staff have clearly already built and maintained a bridge for you to cross over, doesn’t it? Would you want to try to cross one that was dangerous and not taken care of?
1.Do you already have a career goal? If so, what is it?
2.Do you already know the types of classes you will need to take to reach that goal? If so, what are they?
3.Do you think the government should provide special services to help children from low-income families get into college? Why or why not?