Program Overview

During the school year that follows Upward Bound participants’ six-week summer experience, college student tutors and a three-person staff follow up with weekly two-hour study halls at the high schools and three Saturday programs per month at Harvey Mudd College. Study halls provide a quiet place to study, as well as academic support of the students’ current classes. Saturday programs feature two and one half hours of academic tutoring, followed by college planning workshops that include college professor speakers, computer-assisted learning and SAT test preparation. Upward Bound also offers cultural enrichment trips for students. Past trips have included performing arts events, camping and outdoor education trips, and college campus visits.

After the 10th grade, participants must attend a second six-week summer program with either the Capitol Internship program at UC Davis or the La Jolla Science Project at UC San Diego. At each site, students take four hours of classes and participate in a four-hour internship in a professional office or agency every day. Over the years, our students have interned in the California Assembly and Senate, Scripps Research Institute, The Robert Birch Aquarium and the Veterans Hospital, among many other institutions and offices.

A third (optional) six-week summer program is also available for students who rank in the top fourteen of their Upward Bound junior class. These students have the opportunity to attend the Georgetown Internship project at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., where they take four hours of U.S. history and American literature classes and participate in a four-hour internship in a professional office or government agency each day. Past students have interned at the U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Capitol, Library of Congress, Hispanic Link NewsService and the Smithsonian Institute, among other agencies.

Throughout the students’ experience with Upward Bound, full-time staff members follow up closely with them, their parents and their school counselors and administrators. The goal is to prepare the students to enroll and succeed in a four-year college or university. More than 90 percent of HMC’s Upward Bound students have enrolled in post-secondary institutions after graduating from high school.