Upward Bound

UB - University of Houston Upward Bound
Academic Level
Issue Area
Support Services
Key Personnel
Program Focus
College Prep


Upward Bound’s mission is to close the achievement gap and college graduation rates between underserved and their more affluent peers. They aim to increase GPAs, proficiency levels on state assessments in language art and mathematics, college preparatory diploma graduation rates, and six-year post-secondary graduation rates.

Program Description

Since 1980, Trinity Upward Bound has served the same target community in a thoughtful effort to create deep and established networks of college access. First,Upward Bound transports students to the University, increasing the comfort of students and families in a postsecondary environment. Participants gain all privileges of a college student from use of facilities to computer access. Academic Year Component. Participants attend courses in 15 Saturday sessions (90 hours annually). Courses reinforce the high school curriculum and strengthen academic skills to ensure college readiness. Summer Component. The six- week summer program (240 hours annually) engages participants in courses including research writing, literature, mathematics, and science. Students also receive daily tutorial and SAT preparation. Second, Upward Bound intentionally becomes partners and advocates within the communities and families served. Academic Advising. Advisors meet weekly at target schools to provide guidance and support in individual sessions. Additionally, all families meet with advisors annually in English and Spanish meetings where the participant’s unique educational goals are addressed. Through such intrusive advising, students develop academic goals, identify personal competencies and families are empowered in the college process.


All students are tracked beyond college enrollment, regardless of whether or not they enrolled at Trinity. For the 2016-2017 academic year: 

  • 100% of participants served had a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or better at end of school year.
  • 100% of participants continued in school for next academic year at next grade level or graduated from secondary school.
  • 100% of senior level participants graduated from high school having completed a rigorous program of study.
  • 88% of 2016 program graduates enrolled in a program of post secondary education by the fall term immediately following high school graduation as compared to 45% of target high school graduates.
  • 58% of program graduates and 57% of Hispanic program graduates earned an associates or bachelors degree within six years as compared to a six year college graduation rate of 11% at target high schools.

Historically, Trinity Upward Bound graduates are ten times more likely to have a bachelor's degree that adults over the age of 25 living within their community. The longitudinal rate at which participants earn a bachelor’s degree is 52% and 54% for Hispanic program graduates.