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Upward Bound: LSU Alexandria, COPE Inc. partner to offer pre-college experience for high school students

Released: 02/18/2013

Central Louisiana high school students will be better prepared for a successful launch to their higher education pursuits through a new partnership between COPE, Inc. and Louisiana State University at Alexandria.

The agreement, which begins in March 2013, will allow COPE Inc., to utilize specific services and facilities at LSU Alexandria. This will bring a group of high school students to LSU Alexandria campus throughout the year for programs related to Upward Bound and Upward Bound Math and Science of Central Louisiana.

Upward Bound provides fundamental support to participants in their preparation for college entrance. The program provides opportunities for participants to succeed in their pre-college performance and ultimately in their higher education pursuits. Upward Bound serves high school students from low-income families and high school students from families in which neither parent holds a bachelor's degree. The goal of Upward Bound is to increase the rate at which participants complete secondary education and enroll in and graduate from institutions of postsecondary education.

“It is imperative that central Louisiana high school students receive greater preparation in order to be able to succeed at the college and university level” said LSU Alexandria Chancellor David Manuel. “Upward Bound is a highly successful national initiative that has prepared students throughout the United States for undergraduate careers. LSUA is proud to be a partner to ensure that we have this opportunity to improve educational attainment in central Louisiana.”

“It is now time to ensure equal educational opportunity for all Americans, regardless of race, ethnic background, or economic circumstance,” said Randolph Holly, Executive Director of COPE Inc., TRIO Programs. “TRIO and COPE programs protect our federal investment, the further education of students, and financial aid. COPE Inc. is proud to be a partner to ensure that these educational opportunities become a reality.”

The programs have been very effective both in central Louisiana and nationwide, according to Holly, and many students from low-income families depend on these programs to succeed academically in middle/high school and college. "In fact, since 1965 an estimated 2 million students have graduated from college with the special assistance and support of our nation’s TRIO Programs,” Holly said. “TRIO and COPE enable students to overcome the class, social, academic, and cultural barriers to higher education. The educational and human services offered through the TRIO Programs are distinguishable from all other counseling programs in America.”

The TRIO programs offer one-on-one assistance focused on early intervention. The programs are reality-based, with many TRIO professionals having overcome some of the same obstacles the participants face.

Although TRIO is a federally funded program, Holly said the community need is “determined by the community who knows best what is needed, not the federal government. That’s why this relationship/partnership with LSUA is so positive. It ensures that we have an opportunity to improve the educational attainment in central Louisiana, but more noteworthy is the opportunity to change the cultural climate and the removal of too many fences that have hindered the opportunity to overcome class, social, academic, and cultural barriers to succeed in higher education.

Both the Classic and Math Science Upward Bound Programs goals are to increase the rates at which participants enroll in and graduate from institutions of postsecondary and to help students recognize and develop their potential to excel in math and science and to encourage them to pursue postsecondary degrees in math and science, and ultimately careers in the math and science profession.