Wichita State University proudly hosts the Upward Bound Math Science Center, commonly referred to as the “Galaxy Experience.” The Center’s purpose is to serve high school students (freshmen-seniors) who have potential for success and demonstrated talent in mathematics and science. Services and activities undertaken by the Center are designed to increase post secondary education matriculation and persistence and the capacity for students to pursue majors in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
It is the hope of program staff that emphasis on such courses of study will lead to careers in these areas. The overriding multifaceted goal of the Center is to improve study skills, provide academic and career advising, provide a high quality mathematics and science curriculum, ensure cultural exposure; afford opportunities for personal development and community service, and offer workshops and seminars that enhance academic, social, leadership, and personal development.
The Upward Bound Math Science Center is 100% federally funded. It is the mission of the Upward Bound Math Science Center to:
- Educate students with the propensity for study in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) areas for post-secondary
- Stimulate and sustain interest in STEM careers, and
- Motivate low-income and potential first generation college students to realistically consider the attainment of a post secondary degree in STEM.
Program Operational Brief
The Galaxy Experience is provided to students in two interrelated components. The first of which is the summer component. Seventy-five high school students from across the state of Kansas participate in a six-eight week summer residential program on the WSU campus. Participants receive academic instruction, research opportunities, tutorial support, career counseling, and computer instruction during their stay. The students also benefit from relationships with their mentors. Qualified and experienced professional staff persons, including residential, tutorial, instructional, and administrative, serve as role models to students.
The academic year component, entitled the “Leadership Academy”, is offered to the local students that participated in the summer component. The Leadership Academy uses a multifaceted approach to building student academic, social and leadership skills. We have decided and research supports that the best mix of activities to promote these goals is:
Academic Support (Study Buddies, Individual Academic Support, & Academic Strength
Leadership/ Personal Skill Development (Preparing Ourselves for Purpose! Sessions – POPS)
Social/ Cultural Outings/ College Planning and Campus Visits/ Service Learning Opportunities (Community Service Projects)/Family Education
Action Plan or Overriding Programmatic Goals
The Center operates under a government-approved list of objectives. The overriding objective of the Center is to prepare motivated students with an interest in math and science for the college experience, and to demonstrate the relationship between higher education, responsibility to community and respect for oneself and others. The listed objectives are standardized and help ensure eligibility for prior experience points as outline in the actual legislation.
Evaluation of all aspects of the Upward Bound Math Science Center is included throughout the design. The plan focuses on the educational, career, social, and programmatic aspects. The evaluation plan also monitors student development. Demographic data concerning students is computerized to provide profiles of participants and establish an extensive database. Evaluation is conducted along two lines of inquiry: one measures the progress of the participants and Program (formative); and the other evaluates the effectiveness, impact, and relevance of Center activities on student participants (summative). Both methods of evaluation are appropriate to show the impact of the Program. Quantifiable data is obtained to assist in determining if the objectives are being met.