Funding is normally granted on a four-year cycle, but the Linfield application earned a perfect score to qualify for a fifth year, according to Madeline Jepson, director of Upward Bound at Linfield.
Upward Bound is a national college preparatory program aimed at getting high school students into college. Since the programs inception in 1971, it has provided counseling, tutoring and year-round academic advising for at-risk teens.
The U.S. Department of Education grant is the Upward Bound programs primary source of funding. The program receives additional financial support from the Willamette Education Service District WIA grant and an Oregon Department of Education Summer Food Service grant.
"Its nice to know the program will continue to serve at-risk youth in Yamhill County for another five years," Jepson noted. "As director, Ive seen the program really expand and change. Its not something you get immediate gratification from. Students go on and it may be years before we hear from them again. It makes an impact, you just dont know right away."
Some 55 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 in 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.
"Hopefully well increase their interest in going to college and increase their chances that theyll apply and enroll," she added.
Linfield is one of eight Oregon institutions selected to receive funding under the Upward Bound Program. Other sites include Chemeketa Community College, Clatsop Community College, Pacific University, Portland Community College, Portland State University, Southwestern Oregon Community College and Western Oregon University.