REDDING, Calif.—Simpson University hosted approximately 150 North State high school students in mid-June as part of the federally funded Upward Bound program overseen by the university in partnership with College OPTIONS Inc. and the University of California, Davis.
The students, from West Valley, Anderson Union, Dunsmuir and Mount Shasta high schools stayed in residence halls and ate in the dining center. Each day they chose from presentations geared to increase their awareness and knowledge of how higher education benefits various career fields.
More than 20 presenters led sessions, including Redding City Manager Barry Tippin, local real estate professionals, police officers, firefighters, and more. Simpson University biology professor Brian Hooker, history professor Tim Orr, and development director Roger Janis were also among the presenters.
The summer program at Simpson University is designed to give the students a taste of college life, said David Radford, Upward Bound project director for Siskiyou County.
“Living in the dorms is huge,” he said. “It’s definitely a cultural experience. Being on Simpson’s campus gives them college experience and readiness.”
Students in the program are also enrolled in an online college course and had two hours each afternoon to work on that, Radford said. “They could have 12 units of college coursework done by the time they graduate high school,” he said.
Following their week at Simpson, which also included a rafting trip and visit to Whiskeytown Lake, the students spend three weeks working at their high schools with their Upward Bound advisors on their online classes, as well as focusing on other subjects.
During the program’s fifth week, the students travel to the San Francisco Bay Area to visit college campuses. Simpson University is the only campus where students stay overnight, Radford said.
Simpson University was awarded a $5 million federal grant last year to help administer the Upward Bound program for five years to boost higher education success rates among Northern California students.
The national Upward Bound program helps high school students from low-income families and families where neither parent has earned a college degree prepare for college entrance.
Top photo by Stacey Garrett / UC Davis Upward Bound Advisor Daniel Collins leads an expert panel about college and career awareness, financial aid, and concerns related to postsecondary education during Upward Bound’s summer program at Simpson University.
Photo, middle: Kimberly Rubio, an Upward Bound participant from Mount Shasta High School, talks to KRCR-TV reporter Sade Browne about her experience staying on campus.
Simpson University, established in 1921, is a Christian university offering undergraduate, graduate, and teaching credential programs. The university celebrated its 25th year in Redding and the completion of a Science and Nursing Center in 2014. Academic programs include ASPIRE, a degree-completion program geared toward working adults with both on-campus and online course offerings; the Betty M. Dean School of Nursing, A.W. Tozer Seminary, the School of Education, and the School of Graduate Professional Studies. For information about the university, or to arrange a campus visit, call 1-888-9-SIMPSON or visit simpsonu.edu.