2018-09-01 – 2022-08-31
Lead Principal Investigator:
California State University, Northridge (CSUN) proposes to provide Upward Bound services to 60 high school students annually, focusing its support on students enrolled in three high schools. The CSUN Upward Bound program has addressed Competitive Preference Priority (a)(b) Mentoring and how the plan will be implemented within the program. The 2 target schools (Panorama and Monroe high schools) are located near the CSUN campus in the northeast San Fernando Valley (SFV) of north Los Angeles County. The target schools serve families in the SFV communities of Panorama City and Tujunga, and have a combined enrollment of 2,721high school students. All schools have high percentages of low income, first generation students. In targeted communities, educational attainment is low; family income is low (65% of children are eligible for the free/reduced price meal program); and more than 22 percent of Valley residents are at 150% below the federal poverty rate. Students who will be served by UB are attending schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). Roughly one in six students in our target schools are English Learners (Spanish), yet minimal teachers are Hispanic in San Fernando Valley target schools. The CSUN Upward Bound project is characterized by a high number of contact hours throughout the school year and summer. We believe this strategy is not only effective in retaining participants in the program, but also essential to providing timely intervention and referral services. UB staff provide direct service four days per week visiting their high school campuses, meeting with students, and conducting workshops. Participants also participate in a six-week summer enrichment program that provides them with courses in core subjects (i.e., math, English, science, etc.). Additionally, participants also experience college life since they reside on campus for two weeks. During their time on site, UB staff provides group and one-on-one support, including formal workshops and advisement, tutoring assistance, college and career counseling, financial and economic literacy training, and parent outreach. The Coordinator meets with students to monitor their academic progress, and review their Pathway to College (PTC) at least once per semester. A comprehensive evaluation plan has been developed to track progress, and to provide staff with ongoing feedback on student performance, and the effectiveness of UB elements. Quantitative and qualitative measures are identified for each objective to provide a continuous process improvement approach to all components of the operation. With the support of the campus, and commitments from community groups and target schools, planned participant outcomes are expected to be achieved. A key to our success is that CSUN staff is highly experienced in working with the target populations and are, themselves, excellent role models of student success. Most UB staff will join CSUN from the same local environment from which we draw our participants, have backgrounds similar to our participants, and have experience overcoming some of the same barriers that students in our target schools have to deal with.