GRCC Awarded $387,630 Grant for Creston and Ottawa Hills High Schools

The US Department of Education awarded Grand Rapids Community College a $387,630 grant to continue funding its TRiO Upward Bound Program.

Upward Bound at GRCC provides intensive educational, service leadership, and cultural opportunities.  The program increases rates of postsecondary success and creates positive contributors to our community.   During the current 5-year grant cycle, over 95 percent of the students in Upward Bound at GRCC have graduated with their cohort, and over 90 percent have attended college in the 1st year immediately following high school graduation.

Dr. Steven C. Ender, GRCC President, says he could not agree more with Mayor George Heartwell when he recognized, during his recent State of the City Address, that the Upward Bound program is key for improving our community.  According to Mayor Heartwell, it will help Grand Rapids in achieving its long-term goal to be “a community that values its children and commits its resources toward improving the lives of our youngest citizens.”

“This grant is the result of the success we have seen with this program at GRCC,” said Ender. “The Upward Bound staff has worked diligently and closely with participating schools to ensure student success, and now we can expand these important efforts to reach more students.”

Currently, 70 students are involved in the TRiO Upward Bound program, but the new grant will help serve a total of 93 students.  The program provides ACT/SAT preparation, talent assessments, college visits, one-on-one tutors, cultural enrichment, financial planning, service learning, and much more.

Based on TRiO eligibility criteria, at least two-thirds of the students will be low-income and first-generation postsecondary students.  The students will come from the Creston High School and Ottawa Hills High School in GRPS.  The program includes services over the academic year (September to June), and an intensive summer (June and July) session that includes a residential component to accompany academic enrichment and social development.

The office of Michigan Senator Carl Levin made the grant announcement this week.   “Investments in our young adults are the best investments we can make, and I’m pleased that we’re making this important investment in the students participating in GRCC’s Upward Bound program,” Sen. Levin said.

The initial $387,630 was awarded by the US Department of Education for the first year of a five year grant that is renewed based on program success.

Grand Rapids Community College, established in 1914, offers opportunities for over 30,000 students annually in degree courses, certification and training programs, workshops and personal enrichment classes. GRCC holds classes on the downtown Grand Rapids campus as well as several additional locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties.