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6/19/2007 Linfield Upward Bound program renewed

McMINNVILLE - Funding for the Linfield College Upward Bound Program has been renewed for another five years by the United States Department of Education.

Funding is normally granted on a four-year cycle, but for the second consecutive time the Linfield application earned a perfect score to qualify for a fifth year, according to Madeline Jepson, director of Upward Bound at Linfield. This means funding will be available until 2012.

Upward Bound is a national college preparatory program aimed at getting high school students into college. Since the program's inception at Linfield in 1970, it has provided counseling, tutoring and year-round academic advising for more than 1,000 at-risk teens.

The U.S. Department of Education grant is the Upward Bound program's primary source of funding. The program receives additional financial support from an Oregon Department of Education Summer Food Service grant.

The Linfield program is the only one of its kind operating in Yamhill County that includes a residential component, according to Jepson.

"Upward Bound is a partnership between Linfield and the community," she said. "It's a way for the college to demonstrate its commitment to the community and provide educational opportunities for low income youth."

Some 60 students take part in the Linfield program each year. In addition to attending weekly tutoring sessions to boost their high school academics, students spend six weeks during the summer living in Linfield residence halls and taking classes for high school and college credit. The residential campus experience enables students to become familiar with the basics of college life, Jepson said.

"This fall, we'll have seven students from our program enrolled at Linfield," said Jepson. "That's pretty phenomenal."

Linfield is one of eight Oregon institutions selected to receive funding under the Upward Bound Program. Other sites include Umpqua Community College, Chemeketa Community College, Clatsop Community College, Portland Community College, Portland State University, Southwestern Oregon Community College and Western Oregon University.