Project Upward Bound

120 Vandenberg Hall
502 Meadow Brook Road
Rochester , Michigan 48309-4452
(location map)
(248) 370-3218
Fax: (248) 370-3217

Office Hours:
Monday-Friday: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Extended hours on select Saturdays (see schedule) or call for an appointment

image of Geraldine Graham giving a speech

Project Upward Bound

Welcome to the Project Upward Bound College Prep Academy 

PUB celebrates the Class of 2020

Mission: Provide participants with the skills and motivation necessary to complete a program of secondary education (high school) and to enter into and succeed in a program of postsecondary education (college).

Oakland University’s Project Upward Bound College Prep Academy is a multi-faceted enrichment program. Upward Bound, a Federal TRIO Program, was originally established when Congress passed the Higher Education Act of 1965 to promote equity in higher education. TRIO Programs support this legislative intent from middle school through graduate school.

Objectives: Project Upward Bound (PUB) serves 133 PUB Scholars per year. As a federally funded program, PUB is accountable to Congress through the U. S. Department of Education and submits an Annual Performance Report that documents its achievement of six mandatory objectives. Because PUB continually achieves its objectives, June 2019 will mark its 53rd consecutive year of funding.

Academic, Social, Cultural, and Career Enrichment are the four pillars of preparation that PUB applies enabling Scholars to achieve the objectives of: 

  • College-eligible Grade Point Average
  • Math and ELA Proficiency on the State Exam
  • Retention in and Graduation from High School
  • Success in a Rigorous High School Curriculum
  • Postsecondary Enrollment
  • Postsecondary Completion

Perks of Membership: All things considered, participating in PUB throughout high school equals receiving a “Service Scholarship” valued at almost $20,000. The greatest reward is that Upward Bound participants are four times more likely to earn bachelor’s degrees (Council for Opportunity in Education) than those who don’t participate in Upward Bound. And with a bachelor’s degree, Upward Bound alumni will earn 41% more per year (about $800 more per month) than an adult whose education ended with a high school diploma (, 2018). PUB members: 

  • Receive a regular Stipend and earn Elective Credit
  • Live on campus and receive Leadership Training
  • Enjoy Travel Experiences as a reward for achievement
  • Get Fee Waivers for Testing and College Admission Applications
  • Use Technology and Resources that may not be available at home or at school
  • Become eligible for Oakland University Credit Union Membership
  • Qualify for Upward Bound Book Scholarship upon enrollment at Oakland University
  • Become eligible for TRIO Scholarship Competitions
  • Access and eventually join a National Network of TRIO Alumni

Organizationally, PUB is located in and enjoys the support of OU’s Division of Student Affairs and Diversity. PUB is currently OU’s only TRIO program and its longest existing community engagement initiative.

Summer Academy

Summer Academy usually begins on the afternoon of Father’s Day and ends not later than the first week of August. Specific dates vary with the academic year end dates of the high schools PUB services.

PUB’s Summer Academy has three major purposes:

  • Equip Scholars with an academic advantage for the next school year
  • Show Scholars a preview of what it is like to live on a college campus
  • Enable Scholars to build and practice success skills 

PUB’s Summer Academy academics - classes and other learning methods:

  • Mathematics and Laboratory Science
  • International Language and Culture and ELA
  • Guidance and Financial Literacy
  • STEM and other elective classes that vary depending on Scholar interests
  • Performing Arts (Drama, Dance, Music, Production)
  • Summer-long Academic Games Competition
  • Classroom on Wheels: Local field trips related to the annual theme

Social/Cultural enrichment takes many forms:

  • Leadership Development Institute (first week of Summer Academy)
  • Mentoring by college students and entire PUB Team
  • Assistance overcoming separation anxiety associated with living on campus
  • Guidance resolving roommate issues and other conflicts
  • Dining Etiquette training and learning to dress appropriate to the occasion
  • A Behavior Point System that promotes exercising success behaviors
  • Swimming, Campfire w/S’mores,
  • Two stage performances (Scholarship Concert and Performing Arts presentation)
  • Earned summer trip based on attendance, behavior, and academic performance
  • Activities that integrate parents and siblings into programming

Academic Year Program

The Academic Year Program begins in mid-September and runs through March of the following calendar year. It provides a variety of advantages: 

  • Student Success Plan (SSP): Upon admission and each year thereafter, PUB Scholars and their parents work with the Project Advisor to develop specific short-term goals that will, if followed, lead Scholars to the desired success level.
  • Academic Development Plan (ADP): Upon admission and as needed, the Academic Coordinator creates and updates an Academic Development Plan that, if followed, will lead Scholars to greater academic achievement.
  • Leadership Development: PUB Scholars who have spent a summer on campus and who remain active in PUB are more likely to be selected to represent PUB at state, regional, and national student leadership conferences - all expenses paid by PUB. 

Enrichment Classes: At cooperating target schools, PUB offers a daily enrichment class that incorporates all of the academic aspects of College Club, PUB Club, and Saturday Academy. These Scholars are still expected to participate in select special programming and community service that occurs on Saturdays. 

College Clubs: At each school that does not offer PUB’s enrichment class, Academic Mentors come once weekly to lend assistance to Scholars who need tutoring, test preparation, help with homework completion, and/or study skills. Light snacks are provided and students are allowed to ride the late bus. 

Saturday Academies: PUB Scholars from schools that do not offer PUB’s enrichment class come to Oakland University on select Saturdays to prepare for success on the state proficiency exam. As juniors they transition into College Seminar to explore careers and research colleges to find a good fit. Then in Senior Seminar they work on securing financial aid and admission to their best-fit postsecondary schools. Breakfast is provided each Saturday at 8:30 a.m. and classes usually dismiss by 12:30 p.m. That leaves plenty of time for weekend work!

There are several Saturday activities for all Scholars:

  • Community Service: PUB Scholars are able to meet their school’s 40-hour graduation requirement by volunteering with PUB for at least 10 hours per year from their freshman through their senior year. (See Social Enrichment for specific projects.)
  • College/Career Day: A different experience each year exposes PUB Scholars to careers they may never have heard of and hands-on engagement that equips them with life skills including opportunities to network with college students and career professionals.
  • Graduation/Recognition Banquet: Each year PUB celebrates attendance, service, and academic accomplishments of all Scholars with a banquet. But graduating seniors are stars of the show! 

PUB Clubs: Once monthly PUB’s Project Advisor facilitates group activities at the school based on the Character Development Curriculum of the Michigan Curriculum Framework. PUB Clubs are also where stipend checks are distributed.

Special Opportunities

For each of these opportunities, transportation is provided by PUB, related expenses are paid by PUB, and a PUB chaperone accompanies the trip. In addition, PUB contacts the Scholar’s high school to request excused absences. 

MI-CAPP Student Leadership Summit: Every February, the Michigan College Access Programs and Personnel professional association sponsors a statewide student leadership conference. It is held in a different location within the state each year. The MI-CAPP SLS is an opportunity for Michigan TRIO students and students in other Michigan Educational Opportunities Programs to come together for learning and networking. PUB’s seniors have an opportunity to apply for Academic Achievement and/or Academic Progress scholarships. At the conference banquet, up to eight $1,000 scholarships are awarded to graduating high school seniors and college students. PUB selects male and female Scholars who have participated in a Summer Academy and are regular academic year participants. All PUB delegates are required to write a newsletter article to share their experiences with the entire PUB population.

NACAC Detroit College Fair: This is an annual opportunity each spring, for seniors in particular, to spend a morning investigating colleges and universities where they might want to enroll. Admission officers are available and, in some case, ready to make on-site admission decisions. This opportunity is open for sign-up when announced on PUB’s Facebook sight, usually in January.

GVSU TRIO Access Day: Grand Valley State University is the only Michigan postsecondary institution that develops a campus visit specifically to attract pre-college TRIO students to consider GVSU as their choice for college. Held each spring, it includes breakfast, lunch, a campus tour, and a series of workshops to introduce key information on which to base a decision. Parents are welcome to accompany the trip. 

OU Day at the Capitol: Each year, OU’s Office of Government Affairs and University Student Congress collaborate to create a day-long Oakland University presence at the state capitol in Lansing. PUB participates in this exercise to give Scholars exposure to the Capitol building, legislators, and opportunities available in the Lansing area. Parents are welcome to accompany this trip. 

Women in STEM Conference: Each May, the Educational Opportunity Association (EOA) sponsors a conference that is designed to open the understanding of female students to the possibilities available in careers associated with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Project Upward Bound will send a select group of female Scholars with a chaperone. Scholars selected must have participated in a PUB Summer Academy, have a 3.0 or better cumulative GPA, and must have regular attendance and participation in PUB’s academic year programming. Women in STEM occurs on a different college campus each year and attracts young women from all over the nation.

Men of Excellence: This is also an EOA-sponsored conferenced that equips young men with the tools they will need to develop into honorable adults of integrity. MOE is held in a different state each year within a 10-state region. PUB selects from among its male Scholars who have a 3.0 GPA, have participated in a Summer Academy, and regularly participate in PUB’s academic year programming.

National Student Leadership Congress: Washington, DC’s Council for Opportunity in Education offers this annual opportunity for student leaders from all over the United States to come to Washington, DC for a week to enact a mock Congress. Scholars must be prepared to exercise their leadership skills to generate, defend, and lobby for the passing of mock legislation that is relevant to their generation. The experience also includes meeting Congresspersons, touring monuments, social time, and a banquet. A PUB chaperone does not accompany this trip. However, Scholars are met in DC by the COE staff; and living arrangements are similar to the PUB Summer Academy with a trained Head Resident and Peer Mentors supervising the living environment.