May 29: Access forum marks Upward Bound anniversary

By Steve Nakata, Student Affairs & Enrollment

Upward-Bound-50-Anniversary-Logo-200PULLMAN, Wash. – The 50th anniversary of the Upward Bound program in the United States will be recognized during a free, public, access and opportunity forum at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, May 29, in CUE 518 at Washington State University.

Loera-Luci-80“This particular forum will be special as we also celebrate 10 years of Upward Bound at WSU,” said Lucila Loera, assistant vice president for access, equity and achievement.


WSU leads the pack

The program provides college preparation to increase enrollment and graduation in higher education. Of the four-year universities in the state, WSU enrolls the most Upward Bound students.

WSU’s five Upward Bound programs across the state have served more than 700 students and enrolled an estimated 74 percent in a four-year university or community college right after high school graduation. In comparison, Loera said schools in the same regions that do not have an Upward Bound program typically enroll about 50 percent of their students in college.

In 2004, the first three Upward Bound programs were established at WSU to serve Okanogan, Yakima and Stevens & Ferry counties. A fourth program was added in the Columbia Basin in 2008 and a fifth in northern Okanogan County in 2012.

Changing lives

Moses Lake High School junior Kanna Kramer participates in WSU’s Columbia Basin Upward Bound program.

“I have visited a lot more colleges since joining Upward Bound,” she said. “It helped me decide I really do want to go to college.”

Classmate David Ortiz, a sophomore, said it is the best program he has participated in: “The people I’ve met, the experiences I’ve had and the friends I’ve made have changed my life for the better.”

An act of Congress

Nationally, Upward Bound was established by the U.S. Congress under President Lyndon Johnson’s administration. It is funded under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1964.

The purpose of the TRiO Upward Bound program, as defined by the U.S. Department of Education, is to increase college enrollment and graduation rates of low-income and first-generation students by providing comprehensive college preparation assistance.

The Office for Access, Equity and Achievement at WSU offers in-service training like the forum to bring partners together to focus on strategy, efficiency and teamwork to better serve first-generation, low-income and underrepresented students. For more information about the forum or Upward Bound, contact Lucila Loera at

Lucila Loera, WSU Office for Access, Equity and Achievement, 509-335-7944,

Steve Nakata, director of communications, WSU Student Affairs & Enrollment, 509-335-1774,