CofC Logo

About Upward Bound and Pre-College Programs

Laying the Foundation for Success Since 1975

Upward Bound Overview

Located in beautiful historic Charleston, the College of Charleston Upward Bound program is a college preparatory program designed to generate in its participants the skills and motivation necessary for success in education beyond high school.  Each school year, Upward Bound provides special academic and cultural opportunities for high school students who demonstrate the interest and potential to succeed in post-secondary education.  

Through workshops, seminars, academic classes, and one-on-one counseling, we set out to foster the student's positive academic development, the creation and pursuit of personal goals, and excellent social skills.  We aid them in developing a clear, positive vision for their future, encouraging personal growth and self-reflection, as well as increasing their awareness of our global society.  Understanding the old African proverb "It takes a village to raise a family," we as administration and staff are here to help guide students and support their families.  

Who Can Participate?

Participation in the College of Charleston Upward Bound program is open to any college-bound high school student who is currently in the 9th, 10th, or 11th grades at one of the following high schools: Burke, North Charleston, Stall, St. Johns, or West Ashley. More on the Schools We Serve.

There are a limited number of slots available.  However, this is a waiting list for those who maintain a strong interest.  The successful applicant should also meet the following requirements:

  • Neither parent(s) has completed a four-year college degree.
  • Family income qualifies the student for free and reduced lunch.
  • The applicant is college-bound and has demonstrated acadmeic potential for success beyond high school.

What Does Upward Bound Offer?

Upward Bound is designed to encourage student success beyond high school by offering academic support, career counseling, and personal development exercises during its academic and summer components.  Primarily, Upward Bound educates students about the variety of options available in post-secondary education and promotes access to high education through college planning.  Participants visit colleges and universities throughout the United States and participate in culturally-enriching events and programs.  

For parents, we host a Parent Advisory Board (PAB) which is dedicated to meeting the academic, cultural, social, and financial needs of students enrolled in the College of Charleston Upward Bound program.  All parents are expected to participate in PAB.  PAB members meet monthly to advocate for the sucess of Upward Bound and the raising of healthy and competent children.  They provide support services beyond those available within the educational system.  Parents collaborate throught their network of resources to ensure a positive environment and high expectations.  The board ensures success for the next generation of Upward Bound students through proactive engagement.

The Academic Component

During the Academic Component, students attend multiple workshops, seminars, Saturday classes, and tutorial sessions at the College of Charleston from August through May.  Our twice a month Saturday sessions feature classes in English, Math, Science, Foreign Language, life skills, post-secondary planning, and SAT/ACT preparation.  Twice during the school year, fall and spring, students travel with the Upward Bound staff to select colleges and universities and participate in campus tours, cultural events, and sight-seeing.  Students also benefit from monthly school visits from our School Counselors who will help students stay on track with their academic and personal goals.  Academic Component Handbook

The Summer Component

Upward Bound's Summer Component consists of two programs: the Summer Academic Enrichment Component and Bridge
View our photos from a previous Summer Component

The Summer Academic Enrichment Component is offered to our rising 10th, 11th, and 12th graders.  During the 5-week program, students live on the College of Charleston campus and receive instruction in college-preparatory Literature/Composition, Mathematics, Science, and Foreign Language.  Under the supervision of the Upward Bound staff and college-age counselors, students engage in enriching cultural events, community service projects, job-shadowing opportunities, recreational activities, mentoring sessions, and tutoring assistance.  The Summer Academic Enrichment Component concludes with an adventurous Summer Tour, complete with college campus visits, exciting cultural events, and an opportunity to explore different regions of the country.

The Bridge program is offered to a select number of rising college freshmen who have just completed their senior year of high school.  Bridge participants live in a College of Charleston dorm and take one academic course offered by the College.  They will recieve unique tutoring, mentoring, and supervision by a college-age Bridge counselor.  Bridge serves as a transition and preparatory program for the freshman year of college, which can often be a daunting experience for many students.  Bridge is designed for students to get the feel of what college has to offer as well as the life of an involved and academically-focused college student.

Schools we Serve

Our Vision

Our Logo that reads College of Charleston Upward Bound and Pre College Programs