Oklahoma Higher Education Campus E-Clips sponsored by the Communicators Council

November-December 2017

UCO Awarded Two U.S. Department of Education Grants Totaling $2.48 Million to Serve Metro Students

In support of the University of Central Oklahoma’s ongoing efforts to provide accessible higher education opportunities for underrepresented and disadvantaged populations, the U.S. Department of Education has again funded Central’s Upward Bound Math and Science program, as well as awarded the university funding from the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program, also known as the McNair Scholars Program.

With its five-year grant, totaling $1.32 million, the UCO Upward Bound Math and Science program will continue its mission of strengthening the math and science skills of metro area students and encouraging the pursuit of postsecondary degrees in math and science. The program serves 62 eligible participants, who attend five high-poverty, low-performing high schools in Oklahoma City – Capitol Hill, Crooked Oak, Douglass, Northeast and Star Spencer. Participating students receive school tutoring; advisement; advanced placement courses; ACT preparation; financial aid and financial literacy education; and opportunities for cultural activities, career exploration and college visits. Additionally, Upward Bound incorporates a six-week, college-simulated summer component at UCO, where students receive instruction in math, laboratory science, foreign language, composition and literature.

“I’m excited that the U.S. Department of Education has refunded UCO’s TRIO Upward Bound Math/Science Program for another five years,” said Barry Lofton, executive director for Central’s Undergraduate Admissions and Pre-college Programs.

“Funding will allow UCO to continue to provide college preparatory activities and services in math and science to area high school students. The goal is to prepare potential first-generation and low-income students to be successful in a society where math and science degrees are increasingly in high demand.”

Central’s McNair Scholars Program was funded with a five-year grant for $1.16 million to serve 25 low-income, first-generation participants, as well as participants from groups underrepresented in graduate education, who are in pursuit of doctoral studies. The UCO McNair Scholars Program provides participating students with research and scholarly opportunities, assistance with enrollment in post-baccalaureate programs – immediately following graduation, support with continued enrollment in their graduate studies and the overall promotion of doctoral degree attainment within 10 years of receiving a bachelor’s degree.

“The Upward Bound Math/Science and McNair grants add significantly to our efforts of supporting underserved students,” said Myron Pope, Ed.D., vice president for student affairs.

“As a metropolitan university committed to serving this community, these grants allow us to achieve our goals in spite of the economic challenges that we have experienced over the past few years. These students will enhance their communities in such positive ways due to the things they will experience through these programs.”

Central is one of only 19 new college and university programs to receive funding as part of the McNair Scholars Program this year.

“The university as a whole is 100 percent behind this program and is grateful to have been one of only 19 new McNair Scholars projects awarded nationwide. We have commitments from all of UCO’s colleges and departments on campus to assist the program and ensure that the students are successful,” Lofton said.

For more information on Central’s Upward Bound Math and Science program, visit www.uco.edu/upwardbound.

For more information about the UCO McNair Scholars Program, visit contact Lofton at blofton@uco.edu or 405-974-3603.

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