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Upward Bound Classic

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Christin Staats

Upward Bound Classic is federally funded by the U.S. Department of Education to provide services to 62 greater Fort Smith area 9th-12th grade students. The University of Arkansas – Fort Smith was first awarded this grant in the Fall 2003 and became fully operational by Summer 2004. To date, this program has provided services to more than 200 students.

The purpose of the Upward Bound Classic program is to provide students with the skills and inspiration they need to be successful in high school and then to continue on to higher education. Upward Bound Classic is a year-round program for motivated students with academic potential who want to continue their educations after high school.

Our Mission

Upward Bound Classic provides ongoing assistance and encouragement to students in their preparation for furthering education beyond high school graduation. The program provides opportunities for students to excel in their performance in high school and ultimately in their pursuit of higher education. Upward Bound Classic serves high school students whose families meet the Department of Education’s income guidelines, and/or high school students from families in which neither parent holds a bachelor’s degree. The mission of Upward Bound Classic is to increase the rates at which students enroll in and graduate from institutions of higher education.

Services Provided

Eligible students will receive the following benefits:

  • Weekly academic tutoring
  • Test preparation workshops
  • Leadership development
  • Laptop and equipment loans
  • Cultural enrichment
  • Financial aid and college application assistance
  • College visitation trips
  • Career exploration
  • Internships
  • Academic counseling
  • Six-week summer academy

Summer Programs

Summer Academy

Students in grades 9-11 spend five weeks taking a combination of core and elective courses to prepare them for the upcoming school year, visiting college campuses, participating in community service projects, and attending cultural events. 

Summer Bridge

Students who graduate high school have the opportunity to live on campus and attend college classes during the summer session, earning up to 6 hours of college credit while being introduced to college life. 

End-of-Summer Trip

Eligible students earn the privilege of attend an end-of-summer trip, incorporating educational and cultural enrichment experiences.