The University of Arkansas at Fort Smith was notified this week that UAFS will receive $1.3 million over five years from the U.S. Department of Education to fund the University’s Upward Bound Math and Science program, according to a university statement.
The grant announcement was made Aug. 30 by U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., and U.S. Rep. Steve Womack, R-Rogers. It is anticipated that UAFS will receive $260,400 each year during the five-year grant period. The Upward Bound Math and Science program is designed to strengthen the math and science skills of participating students.
The goal of the program is to help students recognize and develop their potential to excel in math and science and to encourage them to pursue postsecondary degrees in math and science, ultimately careers in the math and science profession, according to Dr. Ray Wallace of Fort Smith, UAFS provost and senior vice chancellor.
The grant falls under the College of Student Success at UAFS and is one of several TRIO programs within the Department of Education that are designed to identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Wallace said a key element of the Upward Bound Math and Science program is keeping students in college. Diana Rowden of Van Buren, dean of student success at UAFS, was equally pleased about the grant.
“Participating students must meet federal income guidelines and/or be first generation college students,” she said, adding that Upward Bound Math and Science participants explore math and science career options and develop the academic skills needed to successfully complete high school and pursue a postsecondary education.
“The Upward Bound Math and Science program also provides math and science educational experiences, such as competing in an engineering challenge with other UBMS programs across the state,” Rowden said.
Trish Richardson, of Fort Smith, directs the UBMS program. Each year the UBMS program will serve 62 high school students from 12 area schools, providing intensive instruction in mathematics and science.
“It is my desire to inspire the students to take ownership of their education,” said Richardson. “If they own it, they will do their best and be successful in their education and professional endeavors.
Yolanda Carr, of Fort Smith, said this particular grant is extremely gratifying to her in her role at UAFS.
“I’m always pleased when we obtain grants of any kind from any source,” said Carr, “but receiving one like this, knowing it will help this group of students, is vital to the students we serve at UAFS.”