Wichita Prep Program Objective  

Upward Bound provides fundamental support to participants in their preparation for college entrance. The program provides opportunities for participants to succeed in their precollege performance and ultimately in their higher education pursuits. Upward Bound serves: high school students from low-income families; and high school students from families in which neither parent holds a bachelor's degree. The goal of Upward Bound is to increase the rate at which participants complete secondary education and enroll in and graduate from institutions of postsecondary education.

Program Components


Academic Year

  • one-on-one tutoring in academic subjects
  • career and college exploration
  • college campus visits
  • ACT preparation
  • financial aid application assistance
  • student leadership conferences
  • social and cultural programs
  • biweekly Saturday tutoring sessions
  • guest speakers
  • community-service projects

Summer Program

  • courses to ensure students complete a solid pre-college curriculum and other courses that ensure students are ready for college.
  • Intensive eight-week Collegiate Transition Program. This program pays tuition for 6-8 hours of college courses at Wichitat State. Students live in University housing on the WSU campus.
  • a college environment for participants
  • five to eight weeks on the Wichita State University campus
  • academic instruction
  • tutoring
  • post-secondary admissions advising
  • Wednesday night guest speakers
  • exposure to cultural events

Program History 

The Economic Opportunity Act was signed into law in August of 1964, and the concept of Upward Bound was developed simultaneously in the Office of Economic Opportunity. Eighteen Upward Bound pilot programs, enrolling 2,000 students, began in the summer of 1965. By the summer of 1968, there were 285 Upward Bound Projects with an enrollment of more than 25,000 students. During the 1980-81 fiscal year, there were 446 Upward Bound Programs across the nation. The Wichita Project was funded in 1965 and held its first Upward Bound Summer Program on the campus of Friends University in 1966. The Wichita Public Schools, Friends University, Kansas Newman College (then Sacred Heart College), Wichita State University, and Butler County Community College were cooperative sponsors of the project, with the Wichita State University campus as the host institution.