Indiana State University Newsroom

Upward Bound Summer Academy kicks off at ISU

June 12, 2009

High school students from across the Wabash Valley have converged on the Indiana State University campus for six weeks of learning and fun.

The Upward Bound Summer Academy started Sunday (June 7) and runs through July 17. Designed to prepare students for success in high school and beyond, the program emphasizes the importance of academics while giving participants a look at college life. Participants, high school students in grades 9-12, live in campus residence halls. Forty students have been invited to attend this year's academy.

"We have a wealth of activities designed to introduce students to the college atmosphere while preparing them for the upcoming academic year," said Ken Coleman, project director of Upward Bound at Indiana State.

The comprehensive, six-week program includes classes in physics, astronomy, foreign languages, communications, Indiana history, martial arts, physical education, current events and career exploration. Test preparation skills are also taught. Instructors include ISU professors, as well as educators from around Vigo County.

Students will also have some fun while they're learning. Each Wednesday features a day trip to regional cities such as Chicago, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Louisville where students will tour museums or historical sites. Recreational activities include bowling, movie nights, paint ball and a talent show.

"We try to keep the schedule full of classes and activities so the students get the most of out of their experience," Coleman said. "The students find they really enjoy the social aspect of college life, but they also learn with that comes responsibility."

Eight life skills advocates, who are college juniors and seniors, serve as counselors and mentors to Upward Bound participants throughout the summer program.

"The life skills advocates introduce the students to what college life is all about," Coleman said.

Upward Bound, federally funded by the U.S. Department of Education, prepares high school students for academic success as they prepare for college. The program serves high school students from low-income families and families in which neither parent holds a bachelor's degree.

In addition to summer programming, Upward Bound offers academic programming throughout the year, featuring tutoring, ISTEP and SAT preparation and career counseling. Upward Bound students also receive help in completing college and financial aid applications. All assistance is offered to qualified participants and their families at no cost.

More information about Indiana State's Upward Bound Project is available by calling 1-800-382-7771 or online .


Contact: Ken Coleman, project director for Upward Bound at Indiana State University, 812-237-3063 or

Writer: Emily Taylor, assistant director of media relations, Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3790 or

Photo: ISU student Jeremy Firster, a senior finance major, is serving as a Life Skills Advocate during the Upward Bound Summer Academy. (ISU/Kara Berchem)