Upward Bound

Program Overview

The Clark Atlanta University Upward Bound Program is one of over 700 Upward Bound programs nationwide that help eligible high school students achieve their dreams of going on to and being successful in higher education. The students that Upward Bound serves must come from low-income families (with incomes at or below 150% of the poverty level) and/or are first-generation potential college students (neither parent/guardian has earned a bachelor's degree).

Clark Atlanta University (CAU) has successfully conducted an Upward Bound program since 1965. A federal TRIO program, the CAU Upward Bound Program is funded 100% by the US Department of Education through a grant competition that is held every four years.Through its extensive resources, the Upward Bound Program provides services to 100 participants who meet the program's guidelines and attend one of the following schools:

  • Carver High School
  • Maynard H. Jackson High School
  • South Atlanta High School

The purpose of Upward Bound (UB) is to provide its high school students with the skills and motivation to succeed in and graduate from a college or university of their choice. To this end, UB has both summer and academic year components.

Download the Upward Bound Information Fact Sheet for more details and eligibility requirements.

The High School Checklist for Upward Bound Students provides a concise guide of recommended activities that high school students should perform each year in order to effectively prepare for college.

Summer Component

During the summer, 100 students participate in a six-week residential program on the campus of Clark Atlanta University. The summer program engages participants in dynamic academic classes in literature and composition, mathematics, natural sciences, language arts, Spanish, and other co-curricular areas and it also provides a research component. In addition, there are intensive experiential seminars in a range of challenging and inspiring subjects. The summer component also offers a unique Bridge Program to help graduating seniors cross the great divide between high school and college while earning six-hours of college credit.

The summer program offers a host of afternoon workshops, career explorations, individual and group counseling, and extensive training in group dynamics, communications, and collaborative learning skills. It also provides recreational and cultural activities. The summer program immerses the participants in a socially conscious, supportive and self-governing community committed to the highest achievements of each of its members.

Academic Year Component

During the academic year, the students meet with project staff in their schools weekly and twice monthly on Saturdays. In addition, there is an after-school program that provides tutoring, study-skills assistance, educational and career-related research, career presentations, and challenging workshops by college faculty and community leaders. During the academic year, the students also have the opportunity to participate in a range of college visits and cultural experiences, trips and excursions.

To apply, download the Upward Bound Application.

Program Staff

Robin Gittens 
Associate Director

Ahna Zackery
Program Manager II

Felicia Hammonds 
Program Manager I