Upward Bound Wichita Prep History

Upward Bound Steps to Success

  • Step 1
    Choose Upward Bound
  • Step 2
    Graduate High School
  • Step 3
    College Admission
  • Step 4
    College Enrollment
  • Step 5
    College Graduation

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.

The objective of the Wichita Prep Program has been to provide the motivation and basic skills instruction necessary for youth to successfully pursue and complete post-secondary education. Wichita Prep, the name of the project, serves an average of seventy-five (75) students per year who need academic instruction, tutorial assistance, personal and academic counseling, postsecondary assistance, cultural exposure, and career development. The program has served the University and Wichita community well over the years. Since the beginning, the Upward Bound Program has assisted over 2,000 students in the Wichita area. The success, status, and achievements of former participants are many.


The Wichita Prep/Upward Bound Program is federally funded and hosted by Wichita State University. Participants are drawn from North, West, East, South and Southeast High School in USD 259. These freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors must meet federal guidelines for participation.

Even though the Program averages 75 participants a year, Wichita Prep prides itself on specialized attention to each student. The student body is multi-ethnic with a potential for success in post-secondary education. Students from USD 259 high schools receive group and individualized assistance. Identified goals, measurable objectives, activities and timetables keep staff aware of the Program's focus. The support of the University, public school personnel, and community members strengthen the Program's efforts to assist low-income and potential first generation college students.