The new Upward Bound Math Science Program at Southeast Kentucky Community & Technical College is accepting students, according to Dr. Michelle Dykes-Anderson, who leads the program that was recently reestablished.
A year ago, the “traditional” Upward Bound Program as operated by Southeast since 1967 ended due to Congressional budgetary cuts. The program at Southeast, which served high school students in Harlan and Bell counties, was one of several programs operated by regional and state colleges and universities to lose funding.
However, the SKCTC program has returned, receiving a five-year grant and will now operate with an emphasis on Math/Science in the STEM fields, Dykes-Anderson explained. The STEM curriculum that will be at the forefront of the new Southeast program refers to course work that prepare students for careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
“We received word last fall that we would once more be offering a program at Southeast Kentucky Community & Technical College. Our grant is for five years and, as of now, we are busy recruiting students, a roster of 60 students, who will come from the Harlan County High School and Bell County High School,” she said.
The recruits will be enrolled in classes for a month-long summer session at the Cumberland campus that is scheduled to begin June 10 and end July 11; the final week of the summer program will include a cultural enrichment trip to Washington, D.C.
Students who are accepted into the program receive stipends prorated on how well they do in class, with those who excel receiving more money. During the summer term, each receives $120. “Everything is absolutely free,” said Dykes-Anderson, “and we provide transportation to get the kids to the summer program and also to the campus for one Saturday each month during the year.”
She noted the summer program will consist of classroom work Monday through Thursday for the four-week period where students will receive “specialized” instruction in mathematics, science, English, a foreign language, journalism and computer education, among others. During the term, students are housed at the Benham School House Inn and in their off hours, have the chance to take part in social events such as viewing movies, swimming, dancing and playing a variety of games.
To be considered for the Upward Bound Math Science Program, students must be enrolled in either the Harlan County High School or Bell County High School, with two-thirds of the roster required to be a first-generation college student, meaning that neither parent has a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, or they, the students, fall below federal income levels. One-third of the class roster will be made up of students who are either/or.
The Upward Bound Math Science Program at Southeast will have a staff of 17 for the summer term, with Dr. Dykes-Anderson in charge. Other key staff members include Carolyn Sundy, Amanda Farley, Jennifer Brackett and Patricia Baker.
“Yes, the program is back at Southeast. We are thrilled to once more have the chance to provide assistance to deserving students, helping them reach their potential and hopefully, allowing their dreams to come true!” said Dykes-Anderson.
For further information about the program, phone 606/589-3114, 606/589-3155 or 606/589-3058.