The U.S. Department of Education last week awarded Illinois Central College the TRiO (Turning Roadblocks into Opportunities) Upward Bound grant, which is aimed at providing support for high school students aged 13-19 to enhance their grades, encourage them to complete high school, and put them on track to pursue a college credential. The more than $1.3 million award is spread out over the five-year life of the grant and will serve students at Richwoods High School, Peoria High School, and Manual Academy. Sixty students will be served in the program, which will begin Sept. 1.
ICC has received funding for three of the eight TRiO federally funded educational programs, including Student Support Services and the Talent Search Program. The College lost funding for the Upward Bound Program in 2013 due to federal budget cuts. This is the first time in the College’s history that ICC has received funding for three TRiO programs at the same time.
“We are excited to bring Upward Bound back to ICC and the Peoria area,” said Vice President of Diversity and Community Impact Dr. Rita Ali. “It is our goal that the results of these three programs on these students’ lives will be enduring and that the impact will resonate throughout the community.”
Students in the program begin their participation the summer before they enter high school. The awarded institution and the high schools work together to identify students who would most benefit from the additional support the program supplies. Students participate in college visits to get a taste of campus life, receive tutoring services, and get help applying to colleges and navigating scholarship and financial aid applications.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, two-thirds of selected applicants must meet both the low-income requirement and have the potential to be a first-generation college student, with the remaining third of students meeting one of the requirements. ICC was one of two community colleges in Illinois to receive funding in this latest allocation.
Students attending Richwoods High School, Peoria High School, and Manual Academy this fall and who are interested in the program should notify their high school counselor. ICC is forwarding information to the participating schools.