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Welcome to the Project Upward Bound College Prep Academy

Project Upward Bound (PUB) is a multi-faceted college preparatory enrichment program.

Project Upward Bound College Prep Academy is under the umbrella of TRiO Programs, established when Congress passed the Higher Education Act of 1965, now known as the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HECA). A federally funded program, Project Upward Bound (PUB) has been in place at Oakland University since 1966 and serves 120 students per year. Its mission is to provide academic, social, cultural, and career enrichment that prepares students to succeed in higher education. The 7 TRiO Programs support this mission from middle school through graduate school.

As a federally funded program PUB is accountable to Congress through the U.S. Department of Education and submits an Annual Performance Report that provide data on achieving objectives.  Nationally, Upward Bound turns 50 years old in 2014.  As of 2014, PUB has succeeded in reaching funding for 48 consecutive years.

Organizationally, PUB has always been located in and enjoyed the support of OU's Division of Student Affairs.  Currently, it is OU's only TRiO Program and OU's longest continual community outreach effort.

Serving 120 participants per program year (June 1 – May 30), PUB’s mission is to provide academic, social, cultural, and career enrichment with a goal of participants entering and succeeding in higher education. To achieve this mission, PUB’s objectives focus on:
  • Grade Point Average Improvement
  • Math and English Proficiency on the Michigan Merit Exam
  • Retention in and Graduation from PUB and High School
  • Success in a Rigorous High School Curriculum 
  • Postsecondary Enrollment
  • Postsecondary Completion
Considering all of the services provided, PUB participants receive a “Service Scholarship” valued at $4,500 per program year. Indeed, students who participate in Upward Bound are four times more likely to earn bachelor’s degrees than their peers from similar backgrounds who do not participate in an Upward Bound Program (Council for Opportunity in Education, Washington, DC).

Perks of Membership
  • Parents and participants may receive counseling services at Oakland University's counseling Practicuum Center at no charge.
  • Participants receive a small stipend for participation - just a little pocket change to recognize their effort.
  • Both participants and their parents are eligible to become members of the Oakland University Credit Union.
  • ACT and College Admission Fee Waivers.
  • Individualized assistance to find a good college fit and apply for college admission and complete the national financial aid application form (FAFSA).
  • Possibility of summer jobs in PUB after completion of sophomore year in college.
  • Access to technology that you may not have at home or at school.
To view a student-developed presentation about PUB, click here.

Early Summer Academy
At the end of the academic year, juniors participate in College Seminar on consecutive Saturdays in April and May. The curriculum includes career exploration, matching colleges and majors with careers, finding a good college fit, writing a college-level research paper, and developing a presentation of college research. Offering these services before school lets out allows juniors to complete their Summer Academy curriculum while freeing up their summer for work.

Classic Summer Academy
During the annual 6-week Summer Academy, select Project participants live on the beautiful campus of Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. This calm backdrop provides the atmosphere for rigorous coursework in English Composition, Mathematics/STEM Projects, Laboratory Science, Foreign Language & Culture, Guidance (including Financial Literacy), Performing Arts, and various electives that change annually. PUB’s “Classroom on Wheels” rolls to various educational field trip sites on Fridays to expose participants to local experiences that they may not be exposed to otherwise. Summer Academy evenings feature structured social and cultural activities such as building Smores around the fire pit or enacting vignettes from diverse ethnic cultures.

PUB is notorious for the quality of its annual summer trips. The trip makes the best use of resources to combine educational, social, and cultural enrichment into an itinerary that is rewarding for participants who have worked hard all summer. And make no mistake – it is an earned privilege! To qualify, participants must meet rigorous academic and behavioral standards: maintain at least 80 social points, performed at the A/B honor roll level with no failing grades (out of 8 classes), improved from pre to post on the Iowa Test of Educational Development, not had any more than one day’s absence, and not have missed a field trip. While everyone doesn’t always qualify, everyone always has equal opportunity to qualify.

Academic Year Program
While the Academic Year focuses primarily on academic enrichment, there are opportunities for community services and career enrichment as well.
  • Saturday Academies: All grade levels are involved in ACT enrichment until the MME/ACT is taken in 11th grade. Then juniors transition into College Seminar where they begin their concentrated focus on college selection and admission. All grade levels are also involved in Financial Literacy.
    • Community Service - Participants are able to accumulate at least 10 hours per year so that before the end of senior year, they have fulfilled their 40 hour graduation requirement. (See Social Enrichment for specific projects.)
    • College/Career Day has a different focus each year but always includes PUB alumni and other college students as well as a unique career-related experience.
  • College Clubs: Participants receive study skills enrichment and tutoring from OU students as homework and class project assistance.
  • PUB Clubs: The Project Advisor meets with participants once monthly in their schools to distribute stipend checks and implement a character development curriculum consistent with the Michigan Curriculum Framework.
  • Student Success Planning: Initial SSP meetings are conducted by the Project Advisor with the participant and parent to establish long and short term goals that address needs identified in the admission assessment process. Follow-up SSP meetings are conducted twice annually thereafter to review and adjust goals and action plans.
  • Leadership Development: Juniors and seniors who meet participation and academic prerequisites have opportunities to represent PUB at state, regional, and national student leadership conferences (see Career Enrichment).