During the academic year the students attend weekly tutoring sessions and assistance with homework. In addition to the tutoring, the program provides the students with a number of opportunities to visit colleges and universities throughout the area. As an incentive, the group provides the students with a monthly stipend and treats them to trips and other educational and cultural activities.
In the Toledo area, the Lourdes College Upward Bound Program targets Waite and Woodward High Schools, where tutoring is provided on site. In addition, the students are provided assistance with completing college applications and can receive fee waivers for college entry exams.
The program had fifty students active in the program during the school year, and there are currently thirty-five participants in the summer program. The students in the summer program are bused in daily from their high schools and attend classes that include science, math, English, Spanish, and computer science Monday through Thursday.
On the days they have classes, the students participate in some sort of cultural or recreational activity at the end of the day. Each Friday the group goes on a special trip to destinations ranging from colleges, museums, to Cedar Point, in Sandusky.
All of the classes are held at Lourdes College. The students exhibit a tremendous amount of dedication by getting up everyday to be at the college from 8:45 a.m. until 3:15 p.m. Students who are juniors and seniors are eligible to pursue a work study program either on campus or in the community, where they work regular jobs and are compensated.
The summer program not only allows students to keep their academic skills sharp over the summer, it also allows them to become accustomed to being on a college campus. The summer program lasts six weeks and culminates with a special trip; this year the students will be visiting Nashville, Tennessee.
The statistics show that the program is achieving the goals it has set out to accomplish. The program has seen 110 of the students it has served graduate from high school. In 2007, eleven of the seventeen students (64.7%), who graduated went on to college. This year thirteen of fourteen seniors (92.8%) enrolled in the program graduated from high school.
As an instructor for the summer program for seven of the past nine years, I have personally seen the commitment that the students display. The most impressive component of their dedication is the initiative that they show in their own success.
I commend the staff and the students for all of their hard work; it is quite visibly paying off.