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Pacific News

Pacific receives $1.3 million Upward Bound grant for Edison High School

Project to help south Stockton students with applying for college, financial aid, other services
Jun 8, 2017

University of the Pacific has been awarded a $1.3 million five-year federal grant for an Upward Bound project that will put eligible Edison High School students on a college-bound trajectory. The project will provide needed instruction, tutoring, advising, and assistance with applying for financial aid and college to help students graduate high school, enroll in college and earn a degree.

"It's very exciting for all of us to be partnering with the Stockton Unified School District on what should be a very powerful, transformative opportunity to help Edison students make it through high school and onto college," said Patrick Day, Pacific's vice president for Student Life. "Upward Bound is a strong, proven program and will give students a great chance to succeed and someday give back to their communities."

The five-year U.S. Department of Education grant covers $1,287,500, or 95.5 percent of the costs, with Pacific picking up the remaining $60,350, or 4.5 percent, for a total of $1,347,850. It will be administered by Pacific's Educational Equity Programs in the university's Student Life Division and is the only Upward Bound program in San Joaquin County. Four scholarships each year totaling about $100,000 for the Community Involvement Program, a comprehensive, need-based scholarship for first-generation college students from Stockton who have shown leadership, community awareness and involvement, will be reserved as priority for qualified Upward Bound applicants.

"Securing this grant is a significant achievement that will benefit our students for the rest of their lives," said Eliseo Dávalos, superintendent of the Stockton Unified School District in which Edison High School is located. "Pacific's Upward Bound project will give a tremendous boost to our students to obtain a college degree and improve their circumstances by becoming productive and engaged citizens."

Confidence in new situations will be key to the students' success.

"The Upward Bound program will give students the self-confidence and grit to thrive in difficult academic situations," said Brian Biedermann, principal at Edison High School. "With the knowledge on how to navigate through high school and college, there is no end to the possibilities that these students will have. Partnering with the University of the Pacific and Upward Bound will literally make dreams come true."

Pacific considered several schools in the area with the greatest need and selected Edison High School based on factors such as dropout rate, college attendance and college completion rates, educational attainment and income levels in the surrounding area, and other factors.

The need for the project at Edison is great. The dropout rate in 2015 was 20.4 percent compared to 10.7 percent in California and 6.5 percent nationwide. More than 89 percent of the students attending Edison qualify for the free or reduced lunch program based on income.  Only 7.6 percent of the residents in the surrounding area have a bachelor's degree compared to 31.4 percent for California and 31 percent nationwide. More than one in three adults over the age of 25 in the surrounding area do not have a high school diploma. More than 26 percent of the families in the area around Edison live at or below the poverty level compared to 12.3 percent in California and 11.5 percent nationwide. The Upward Bound project at Edison will work to greatly improve these and other standards.

"We were able to show how we could develop effective tools and programs that could help students who have the highest need," said Day. "Our grant proposal highlighted not only the challenges these students face, but also the impact Pacific could make with the resources we can bring to the table."

Upward Bound joins other Pacific programs, including a related program funded by a U.S. Department of Education Student Support Services grant, SUCCESS TRIO, and two university-funded programs, the Community Involvement Program and Pacific PROMISE Scholars, designed for current and former foster care and other students.

"Upward Bound will prepare students to go to college, while SUCCESS and CIP help ensure they succeed and graduate," said Day.

Upward Bound is one of eight Federal TRIO Programs that provide services and help for low-income, first-generation college students and people with disabilities to have academic success. Upward Bound was created by the Economic Opportunity Act of 1962 as one of three federal programs created in the 1960s to provide educational services to students. Combined with Talent Search, created by the Higher Education Act of 1965 to help students apply for federal financial aid, and Student Support Services, created by a 1968 amendment to the Higher Education Act of 1965 and intended to foster greater educational opportunity and achievement, the three are known as the Federal TRIO Programs. The TRIO programs have been expanded since 1968 to provide a broader range of services to students and they include:

For more information on Pacific's Upward Bound Program, contact Anita Bautista, executive director, Educational Equity Programs at 209.946.2439.

Media contact:

Keith Michaud | 209.946.3275 (office) | 209.470.3206 (cell) | kmichaud@pacific.edu