Friday, February 17, 2017

To Infinity & Beyond - How to Advocate for TRIO Programs

This week we have been actively sharing our experiences on how TRIO has impacted our lives, from numerous mentions of personal inspiration and memories, to data driven evidence proving the extent of how TRIO programs, like OHIO Upward Bound, have helped young Americans access education and succeed. From 1964 until 2017, the legacy of TRIO continues on; however this is only possible with continued support from those who have experienced the impact of TRIO programs. This includes active voices speaking up for the importance of the program, as advocates for educational opportunity. Thus, if you care about the program, we want to encourage you to keep talking about TRIO’s impact beyond this week, by using social media, calling your elected representatives, and staying informed on policy impacting education and TRIO programs, like OHIO UB. The legacy can only live on if those who care, show it. So speak up and speak out! If you would like more information on contacting your elected officials to explain why #TRIOWorks check out the follow link:

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Impact of TRIO & OHIO UB from Staff Perspectives

The Ohio University TRIO Upward Bound (OHIO UB) program thrives on helping first generation college students from low income backgrounds. However, this could not be accomplished if it wasn’t for the amazing staff that has made up the OHIO Upward Bound team. Over the years, many staff members have put their time and effort into making this program what it is today, often working above and beyond position requirements.

One such person is Dr. Rebecca Barlag, an assistant professor at Ohio University and the current director of B.S. Forensic Chemistry. Dr. Barlag has worked as the OHIO UB summer chemistry instructor since 2010. She believes that “TRIO matters because students of all types - first generation, high school-straight to college, returning to school after many years working or in the military, need support. They need to know that they have a group of people who will help them to adjust and to overcome their fears.”

Former residential director and academic year volunteer, Jacob Gillam, states, “even though I'm an adult facilitating the summer phase, I consider those six weeks to be as transformative for me as they are for the students.” Not only is the summer phase a time of academic growth for students but it’s also a time for personal and career growth for program staff. Jacob’s involvement with the OHIO UB program has helped him realize that, “If it wasn't for [OHIO] UB, I think I would have learned to hate teaching and resented my students, but instead I was able to reconsider what my goals are as an educator.” Even Dr. Barlag found that she has, “learned to be more patient with my students and to know that the process of learning is actually more important than the content or amount of material that I teach.”

TRIO programs like Upward Bound have transformed the lives of many people.  For 50 years, the OHIO Upward Bound team has made a huge impact on southeast Ohio, offering students support and educational resources that are often limited elsewhere. However, these programs don’t just provide resources to many first-generation college students on their journey to success, but help program staff grow for the better, too. As Dr. Barlag stated, “my favorite part of the program is that it feels like family.” OHIO Upward Bound is an inclusive place where people come together and grow academically, socially, and even professionally.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Importance of TRIO and OHIO UB Relationships

Through the workshops and the summer phase, Upward Bound has a history of fostering positive relationships among its students, faculty, and staff members. Students have claimed that UB has helped them discover their own identity, connected them with inspirational and motivating faculty, and allowed them to create lifelong friendships with their fellow students. Upward Bound relationships, otherwise known as #TRIOships, are one of the many unique aspects of the program, and one of the many reasons students return year after year. 

Emily Arlen, a senior from Nelsonville-York High School, met Dr. Becky Barlag while participating in the Summer Residential Phase, summer 2016. Dr. Becky is an Assistant Professor in the Chemistry Department at Ohio University and one of the instructors during the summer phase. Over the summer, Dr. Becky served as a personal and professional mentor to Emily. Emily said, “Dr. Becky has taught me a lot about life in general and friendship.” She continued to discuss how Dr. Becky has been a wonderful support as she goes through changes in her life. Emily’s story displays one of the many important relationships formed at Upward Bound, and one that likely would not have been created without OHIO UB.

Another student, Tylor Sheets, a senior from Alexander High School, discussed how his friends at OHIO Upward Bound have helped him learn more about himself than any other people in his life. He said, “Before Upward Bound, I didn’t really know how to be myself and I never really knew how to make friends. Putting myself in a situation where everybody around me was going through exactly what I’m going through is one of the best things a person can ask for.” Students in UB are either potential first-generation college students and/or low income students, so everyone in the program shares at least one similarity, and one that can cause some insecurities at that. By being placed in an environment, where people are similar and share like goals, students like Tylor feel more comfortable to explore their own identity.

Positive relationships serve as a catalyst that encourages students to learn about themselves, to understand their personal lives, and to create professional and educational goals. Upward Bound creates the ideal environment to forge these positive relationships.   

Monday, February 13, 2017

Closing the Gap - History of TRIO and Upward Bound

Ohio University Upward Bound - 1968
History of TRIO
The TRIO programs we know and love arose from the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. At the time, poverty was a pervasive issue and was being largely ignored by the public. This resulted in large gaps between the rich and the poor—to the point that the federal government decided to intervene.

Lyndon B. Johnson’s administration created the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, supporting anti-poverty programs in education, community building and job training at the local level. The first educational opportunity program to emerge from this act was Upward Bound, a program that serves high school students from low-income families and those whose parents do not hold bachelor’s degrees. Upward Bound provides skills and support for these students so they can successfully enroll in and graduate from institutions of postsecondary education.

In 1965, the second educational opportunity program, Talent Search, was created as part of the Higher Education Act.  Talent Search provides academic, career and financial counseling to disadvantaged youths while encouraging them to graduate from high school and complete postsecondary education. The program educates participants on the availability of financial aid and assists with applications for postsecondary institutions.

Student Support Services was the third educational opportunity program to surface in 1968, aiming to increase college retention and graduation rates. This program provides undergraduate students opportunities for academic development, assistance with basic college requirements and motivates students to complete their postsecondary education. Participants may also receive additional grant aid if they are receiving Federal Pell Grants.
The three federal programs coined the term “TRIO” in the late 1960s. However, over the years, these services have expanded through the US Department of Education to reach more students who need assistance.

The Educational Opportunity Centers program (1972) serves adults wishing to continue postsecondary education. The Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program (1986) identifies and serves Ph.D. students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Through the Training Program for Federal TRIO Staff (1976), funds are awarded to institutions to support training and skill enhancement of project directors and staff employees. Veterans Upward Bound program (1972) assists veterans in obtaining the necessary skills to complete postsecondary education. Upward Bound Math and Science (1990) works directly with those interested in obtaining a degree in a related field.

Today, these educational opportunity programs have grown to serve an estimated 790,000 low income, first generation students at more than 2,800 TRIO programs nationwide, providing invaluable support and educational services to students in need.

History of OHIO UB
Ohio University Upward Bound was established in 1967. We now serve 17 high schools in 9 counties in the Southeast Ohio area. Through our program, students participate in monthly workshops, learning about various postsecondary related topics and enhancing their academic skills. The workshops cover subjects from ACT Prep, to financial aid, to the college search and application process. Tutoring services are also available at the monthly workshops, giving students an extra push in an area they may be struggling with.

Our services extend beyond academics. Through our workshops, students learn healthy ways to manage stress, ways to get involved outside of the classroom and opportunities for a multicultural experience, among others.  Students also participate in university tours to get a better understanding of the college atmosphere and what factors matter most to them.
During our summer residential phase, Upward Bound students stay on Ohio University’s Athens campus for six weeks, taking high school- and college-level classes to assist them in a successful transition to the next grade. These courses cover academics, study skills and fine arts. The goal is to ultimately prepare participants for college life—on an academic, social and personal level.

Ohio University Upward Bound has been operating successfully for 50 years. We have seen our graduates go on to pursue careers in nursing, cyber security, game design and animation, chemistry and many more.

With the help of Upward Bound and other TRIO programs, students are able to acquire the skills, confidence and support they need to conquer the next step. We will continue to help our participants succeed while pushing to close the gap between low-income and high-income students in the education system. 

Friday, February 3, 2017

How the Military Can Help Pay for College

The cost of college education is sky-high, and it is only increasing. Luckily, the military offers various tuition assistance programs for past, present, and future servicemen and women. In this blog post we will explore six opportunities that can help cover tuition costs for those enlisting in one of the five military branches.

Montgomery GI Bill

To receive the Montgomery GI Bill, an individual must pay $100 a month (of his or her own money) during the first year of service. After that, he or she may receive over $50,000 to help pay for college. The bill can be used not only for college degree programs, but also for certificate programs, flight training, and distance education courses, among others.
Visit for more information.

The Post-9/11 GI Bill

Under this bill, individuals may receive the cost of tuition and fees, a monthly housing allowance and a maximum books and supplies allowance of $1,000. Any individual who served on active duty on or after September 11, 2001 is eligible. The individual must have served at least 90 days of active duty after September 11, 2001, still be on active duty, or honorably discharged or released. 
Visit for more information. 

Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC)

The ROTC programs include training for the Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force. The programs train young men and women to become officers after college graduation. The ROTC program is available in over 1,000 colleges and universities throughout the country. ROTC candidates take academic courses and wear uniforms once a week during military labs, drills military science presentations and other training activities.
ROTC scholarships are also available to those who qualify based on merit and grades. Individuals must have a high school GPA of 2.5, a high school diploma, an SAT score of 920/ACT score of 19 and meet physical standards. Once selected, the individual may receive up to full tuition and allowance for books and supplies. Those who receive scholarship are also eligible for a monthly living allowance. Those who don't qualify for scholarships may still receive the living allowance in their third or fourth year.
Visit for more information.

Community College of the Air Force 

This two-year college is open to men and women who are enlisted in the Air Force. The college offers nearly 70 associate degree programs. Some of the fields include air and space operations technology, computer science, allied health sciences, information management and more. 
Visit for more information. 

Service Academies

There are four military service academies that offer another way to pay for college: The U.S. Military Academy (West Point, New York), the U.S. Navel Academy (Annapolis, Maryland), the U.S. Air Force Academy (Colorado Springs, Colorado) and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy (New London, Connecticut). These academies pay for tuition, books, board, medical and dental care. Participating individuals also receive a monthly stipend.
Admissions is highly competitive, though. These academies seek high-achieving men and women with leadership potential. Criteria includes academic performance, SAT/ACT scores, athletics and other extracurricular activities, leadership positions, community involvement and work experience. A congressional nomination is also necessary to be considered. Those who are admitted will receive a Bachelor of Science degree and a leadership job as a junior officer in one of the five military branches. 

Loan Repayment Programs

The Army and Navy offer programs that help enlisted servicemen and women to pay off college loans accumulated prior to service. The Army offers loan repayment at a 1/3 rate for each year of full-time duty. The maximum repayment amount is $65,000. The Navy also offers a $65,000 loan repayment program. 
Visit MyArmyBenefits for more information on the Army's loan repayment program. 
Visit CNRC Navy for more information on the Navy's loan repayment program. 

As you see, the military can offer financial assistance toward education in numerous ways. If you are considering enlisting in one of the five branches, it is important to understand the assistance options that may be available to you. Once you find the right program, the burden of tuition costs will be decreased dramatically. 
To learn more about these financial opportunities, visit the following links:

If you have any questions or comments, please email or message OHIO Upward Bound on Facebook.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Paving your way to a career

Sure, it's enough to simply go through the motions while in college. Wake up each morning, go to class, hang out with your friends and go to bed--only to repeat the same pattern the following day.

Although this type of routine may leave you with a degree in your hand, it may not lead to the fulfilling career you are seeking post-grad.

It is important to get involved outside of the classroom, no matter what your major is. There are plenty of opportunities on every college campus for students to participate in a club/organization that interests them. In this blog post, we will discuss a few different majors, what types of extracurricular activities go well with those majors and various careers that you may pursue with the combined experience.

photo via

Community and Public Health
Extra curricular: Health & well-being club, fitness instructor, nutrition club, community food initiatives
Career options: Health department, service organization, volunteer health agency, state or federal health agency, hospital or workplace.

Early Childhood

Extra curricular: Child life organization, babysitter, nanny, day care worker
Career options: Public and private preschools, Head Start programs, nursery schools, child care centers, private and public kindergarten and primary grades.

Graphic Design

Extra curricular: Campus media, multimedia society, game developers organization
Career options: Design firms, marketing firms, advanced degree programs


Extra curricular: School newspaper, magazine, radio station, broadcast network,
Career options: Broadcast (news anchor, weather and traffic reporter, radio host, production crew, sports reporter), editorial (news reporter, magazine editor, investigative journalist) and visual (photo journalist, freelance photographer, video editor). Other options may be in the field of communication, PR and social media.


Extra curricular: Council of teachers of mathematics, math club, women in mathematics, teacher's assistant
Career options: State and federal government agencies, scientific research and development services, communication firms, public and private K-12 education, institutions of higher education, computer services companies, software publishers, banks and credit unions, non-profit organizations and chemical and pharmaceutical companies.


Extra curricular: Psychology club, research assistant
Career options: Counseling, crisis work, performance enhancement, social market research, experimental psychology. Possible employers include hospitals and healthcare providers, institutions of higher education, rehabilitation facilities, government agencies, social services and non-profit agencies and public/private K-12 schools.

Social Work

Extra curricular: Student social work association, students for law, justice & culture, sustainability club
Career options: Child welfare, mental health services, foster care and residential treatment, adoption services, nursing homes, schools, government agencies and medical facilities. Social workers may work with children, adolescents, families, adults, the elderly, people with mental health/behavioral issues, developmental disabilities, veterans, etc.

Don't see your major on this list? Have questions about alternative options? Feel free to email

Friday, November 18, 2016

UB Got Me Here

This week's spotlight is on Jillian Shuck!

Jillian was recently elected as a student representative for the Logan Hocking School Board. This is a notable achievement; only two students are selected to serve on the board each year, and the application/election process can be quite rigourous. In this post, we are featuring a short Q&A with Jillian to gain her perspective on this new position. 

Q: What made you want to apply to be a student representative for the Logan Hocking School Board?
A: I wanted to apply to be a student representative for the Logan Hocking School Board because in my future I plan to be an English teacher. Getting to know how a school system works will help me understand one when I graduate with my degree and work in one. I also like to be one that helps guide people on the right path for success. 

Q: What did you have to do to be elected for this position?
A: To be elected for this position, I had to write three essays about why I wanted the position, the qualities I have for the position, and one issue I wanted to address in teh school district. I also had to have two letters of recommendation, one of which was Upward Bound, and I had to have a resume. The last thing I had to do was meet with one of my principles and a board member for an interview. The interview was nerve racking. 

Q: Can you tell me a little bit about what you do as the student representative now that you have been elected? 
A: As a student rep, I sit on the board with the senior rep and other board members. I am the junior rep. I listen in and put my input into the conversation when I have a comment on the issue at hand. I also talk about what the students want. I am new to the meetings. I haven't done many things in the board yet. 

Q: Do you think Upward Bound contributed to your success? If so, how?
A: Yes, I think Upward Bound has helped me immensely. I used to be someone who did not talk in front of many people and wouldn't draw attention to myself, but at Upward Bound I met new peopla dn came out of my shell. I am more confident in myself now. I am not afraid to talk in front of a group of people, and it has helped me become better with my stress and time management. 

Congratulations, Jillian! We are very proud of all of your accomplishments. 


"UB Got Me Here" is a column that features various students for the academic and personal success they have achieved with the help of the Upward Bound program. Everyone has a different story, and we look forward to sharing how Upward Bound has helped prepare each student for the future and what goals these students have set for themselves. 

Want to be featured? Email or message Upward Bound on Facebook