Nicole Woods of Hope, Arkansas, has been named the Director of the new Upward Bound Program at the University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana
Woods has served at the college as an Educational Specialist and a Student Support Specialist for the last three years. She holds a Bachelor’s of Business Administration degree and a Master’s of Education in Student Affairs and College Counseling degree from Southern Arkansas University.
The United States Department of Education awarded the University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana (UAHT) an Upward Bound Program grant of $251,500 per year to start the program. It is anticipated that the grant will be for a total of five years, according to the grant award letter from the U.S. Department of Education. The grant application for UAHT’s Upward Bound program was selected from more than 1,500 proposals submitted nationwide in a competitive, discretionary grant competition.
Upward Bound is one of two TRiO programs offered at UAHT. TRiO programs are federal outreach and student services programs designed to identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. TRiO programs are targeted to serve and assist low-income individuals, first-generation college students and individuals with disabilities to progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to post-baccalaureate programs.
The Upward Bound program at UAHT will serve sixty program participants each year, selected from Hope and Texarkana, Arkansas, Public Schools. Upward Bound goals include raising high school GPAs to a level consistent with college entry, preparing students for successful application and entry into college, and helping students and families pursue federal financial aid and other funding sources to attend college.
During the high school year, services include academic advising and tutoring; course planning assistance; career counseling; college visits; ACT exam preparation; cultural, social and enrichment activities; monthly stipends; and scholarship and financial aid advice.
According to Upward Bound data, the program’s participants are 25 percent more likely to graduate from high school and 17 percent more likely to enroll in college than program-eligible nonparticipants at high schools served by the program.