Upward Bound

Upward Bound is an intensive college preparatory support project designed to provide low-income, first-generation high school students encouragement and the essential skills needed to complete high school and earn a post-secondary degree. Upward Bound has been a part of the Wallace Drive Campus in Gadsden since 1973 and on the Ayers Campus in Anniston since 1999. Like all TRIO programs, Upward Bound is funded by the U.S. Department of Education.

Upward Bound serves a diverse population of students

What are the benefits of Upward Bound?

Upward Bound provides instruction and activities through educational, cultural and travel enrichment opportunities, including:

  • Study skills development
  • Academic, financial and personal counseling
  • Tutoring
  • Cultural and social activities
  • Information about post-secondary education opportunities
  • College visits
  • Assistance with financial aid applications
  • Preparation for college entrance exams


What are the phases of Upward Bound?

Three phases of Upward Bound programming is available to high school students:

  • Academic Phase – Consists of 12 Saturday sessions that meet twice a month, normally on the first and second Saturdays. The academic phase is designed to enhance the student’s skills in their high school core classes. Tutoring is provided during this phase as well as after school.
  • Summer Phase – A six-week program scheduled during June and July. The summer phases afford students a simulated college experience that includes residential houses. Special features of the program are life skills, research projects, college tours and career, health and professional counseling. The phase ends with a trip to a major U.S. destination that provides exposure to colleges and universities, historical sites and different cultures.
    • Upward Bound also has a Summer Bridge Program for graduating seniors to help them navigate from high school to college; students get a full scholarship to take summer classes at Gadsden State.
  • Career Work-Study Program – The program is offered during the summer phase. Rising juniors and seniors are involved in a work-study program that allows participants the opportunity to work in an environment that reflects their career choice while being paid by the Upward Bound program. Students are placed in part-time jobs on campus and within the community. They are given the opportunity to experience hands-on knowledge of various careers. Upward Bound graduates are enrolled in a pre-paid college course at Gadsden State. Graduates have the opportunity to experience the process of admissions, placement testing, registration and advisement.


What is the Upward Bound application process?

Applications are taken from interested students (preferably freshmen and sophomores) within targeted high schools. The Upward Bound in Etowah County serves Etowah High School, Gadsden City High School, Gaston High School and Glencoe High School. The Calhoun County program targets five high schools: Anniston, Oxford, Saks, Weaver and Wellborn. Applications for Upward Bound can be obtained from high school counselors in those schools.

Students must meet the eligibility requirements mandated by the U.S. Department of Education for Acceptance. Documentation is required and accepted from the student’s family, school or governmental agency.

Once selected, participants and a guardian are required to attend an Upward Bound orientation conducted by the program director. An academic plan is initiated at the orientation in order to outline the program’s expectation for educational success.

Upward Bound Offices

Upward Bound – Wallace Drive Campus

Located in the Inzer Student Center, Room 219
Pat Rutledge, Director

Sonya DeRamus, Outreach Advisor

Tomekia Wilson, Outreach Manager


Upward Bound – Ayers Campus

Located in the Administration Building, Room 102
Rod Campbell, Director

Ayers Campus Upward Bound application