Siena Heights University Receives $339,722 Grant from U.S. Department of Education
The U.S. Department of Education recently awarded Siena Heights University with a $339,722 grant to fund the Upward Bound program.
Annita Aranda, director of Siena’s Upward Bound program since 1987, said individual programs are usually funded for four years. However, Siena Heights was awarded a five-year grant, a first since the Upward Bound program was started at Siena Heights in 1973.
“We’ve never had five years,” said Aranda, who has been with Siena’s program since its inception. “It’s exciting news. For it to be funded for five years is just incredible.”
Upward Bound serves high school students from low-income families, high school students from families in which neither parent holds a bachelor's degree and low-income, first-generation military veterans preparing to enter postsecondary education. Besides providing support to participants for their college preparation, the program’s goal is to increase the rate at which participants complete secondary education and enroll in – and graduate – from institutions of postsecondary education.
“This grant will provide Siena Heights with more resources to help students from low-income families learn mathematics, laboratory sciences and composition,” said U.S. Rep. Timothy Walberg (R-Tipton, Mich.) said in a release.
Upward Bound projects provide academic instruction in mathematics, laboratory sciences, composition, literature and foreign languages. Tutoring, counseling, mentoring, cultural enrichment and work-study programs also are supported.
The application process is competitive and detailed, Aranda said. More than 1,000 colleges and universities nationwide applied for funding. Aranda said Siena’s grant proposal was submitted in November 2006, and she learned the news that her program will be funded May 4.
“We were just waiting to hear,” Aranda said.
Upward Bound is part of the federal TRIO programs at Siena Heights, which include Student Support Services and the Ronald McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program.