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University funds new College Bound program this summer

Program to help low income high school students attend college


When life gives you lemons, make lemonade, and that’s exactly what Ohio University and The Gladys W. and David H. Patton College of Education did with the recent creation of a new program for prospective first-generation students.

When the College was faced with losing its annual federal funding grant for the highly successful Upward Bound program, it began planning to fund its own program with similar goals — called College Bound.

College Bound intends to mirror the goals of Upward Bound by providing (at no cost) high school students who are low income and/or potential first-generation college students with skills and support services that cultivate resilience, confidence, and preparation for a healthy and successful transition to a postsecondary institution upon high school graduation.

While College Bound intends to be a year-round program, it is starting small with a weeklong summer program this July 23-27.

Attendees will be sophomore through senior high school students and 2018 high school graduates (known in the program as bridge students) from Athens and Vinton Counties. Because the program wanted to start small in scope, the first group of students were selected from last year’s Upward Bound participants within those counties. 

Funding for College Bound is being provided by the President’s Office and The Patton College Dean's Office. Each contributed $50,000 for the 2018-2019 program year.

“Our first generation students make up a large portion of our incoming freshman class – approximately 33 percent. On our regional campuses, that portion jumps to between 51-58 percent. These students sometimes struggle to transition from high school to college more than some of their peers do and could use some additional assistance. Providing access to academic excellence is at the heart of Ohio University’s mission, and I am so pleased to create an important program like this to help us achieve that goal,” Ohio University President M. Duane Nellis said.

“I am so pleased that President Nellis is leading with financial support of the College Bound program to supplement the financial support also being provided by The Patton College,” said Renée A. Middleton, Dean of The Patton College. “Once again, we are directing resources to support equitable education and the students and families who make up our region in Southeast Ohio. I have said it before and will say it again, Dr. Nellis is ‘one of us,’ and he understands that these types of programs make our University distinctive.”

This May, The Patton College hired Coleen Dietsch-Krubl as the College Bound Project Manager. She previously worked for the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs where she was a senior project manager and most recently worked on the Partnership for Smoke Free Families Community Saturation project funded by the Ohio Department of Health, which served six Southeast Ohio counties.

“I am hitting the ground running to ensure this important program is operational and beneficial for our Southeast Ohio students with great potential,” said Dietsch-Krubl. “College Bound provides fundamental support to participants in their preparation for college entrance. We are here to help our charges realize their best potential regarding their high school performance and find ways to overcome barriers to their pursuit of higher education. From test-taking strategies to finding financial aid for tuition, we help prepare our participants for success as they endeavor to become first-generation college students.”

The summer phase of College Bound is an intensive weeklong on-campus program that takes place Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Students participate in test-taking and time-management sessions, discussions on finding campus advocates and resources, self-awareness and confidence-building activities, and more. All of which are designed to help students build academic and social skills that assist with the transition to a new grade level and ultimately to a post-secondary institution of their choice.

At the conclusion of this inaugural summer program, College Bound will begin preparations for academic-year programming for participating Athens County students and their parents. A variety of topics revolving around improving/enhancing the students' pre-college performance and navigating the college selection, application, and enrollment process will be covered in interactive learning sessions that will take place throughout the year.


This story was provided by the Patton College of Education