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UConn Advance

Grant boosts Upward Bound participation
By Elizabeth Omara-Otunnu
March 14, 1997

Forty Hartford high school students have been named to participate in the University"s college preparatory program, Upward Bound, thanks to a $100,000 state grant.

The grant was made available through the Connecticut Collegiate Awareness and Preparation Program (ConnCAP), a state initiative similar to the federal Upward Bound program. Last year, $100,000 in extra funding was allocated to the program by the Legislature to help Hartford students, funding that was awarded to UConn through a competitive grant process.

"This is an ideal partnership between the state, our capital city and our flagship university," said Gov. John Rowland. "For 29 years, UConn has operated a proven intervention program for at-risk students from across the state. With the ConnCAP funds, the University has been able to focus more resources on Hartford youths a key contribution toward the city's social and economic well-being.

"I am appreciative of the Legislature's decision to expand support for this much-needed ConnCAP initiative," the governor added.

Each year UConn's program assists 100 urban high school students from low-income families who will be the first generation to attend college. The four-year program started with an introductory session on the Storrs campus March 8, followed by weekly after-school counseling and college-preparation sessions during the school year. In the summer the students attend a six-week residential program in Storrs. The program is designed to foster the academic growth, skills and motivation necessary for students to complete high school, gain college admission and graduate from college.

The program serves students from across the state, usually including a handful from Hartford. This year, the extra students from Hartford will increase the number attending the program.

"We at the University are very pleased that the ConnCAP money has enabled us to improve and increase access to higher education for more of Hartford's young people," said Mark Emmert, chancellor and provost for University affairs. "With this grant we are able to serve more Hartford students than the 10 or 15 we have been able to serve annually in the past.

"For some 30 years, this program has prepared students for higher education," Emmert said. "We know it works; this is manifested in the quality and accomplishments of those who have participated. The University thanks Governor Rowland, Commissioner (of higher education Andrew G.) De Rocco and the General Assembly for their commitment and support."

The grant competition was conducted last fall by the Connecticut Department of Higher Education, which operates the ConnCAP program. UConn's proposal was chosen because of "the strong quality of its submission and deep commitment to serving at-risk youngsters," De Rocco said.

ConnCAP is part of the Minority Advancement Program begun in 1986 by the state Board of Governors for Higher Education to increase racial and ethnic diversity on Connecticut college campuses. Since 1986, ConnCAP has served more than 9,300 youngsters from six urban areas in Connecticut. More than 95 percent of its graduates have continued on to college.

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