Upward Bound

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Upward Bound

Fairfield University Upward Bound is a federally funded program for college-bound high school students. Through comprehensive, holistic, co-curricular and academic programs, the FairfieldUniversity Upward Bound Program provides low income, potential first-generation college students with the tools necessary to access post-secondary education as full participants. We support students year round as they push beyond barriers to college access by engaging them in tutoring, mentoring, academic instruction, academic counseling, standardized testing classes, life skills workshops, cultural events, college visits, assistance with the college admissions and financial aid processes, financial literacy, career exploration, leadership development, and a summer residential program. All activities and services are provided at no cost to the students and their families.

Upward Bound is part of the federally funded TRiO programs. The primary purpose of TRiO programs is to prepare low-income/potential first generation college students for successful entry into, retention in, and completion of post-secondary education.

What is the purpose of Upward Bound?

The goal of Upward Bound is to improve the academic performance, motivation levels, and self-confidence of the participating students so that they reach their ultimate goal of achieving a college degree.

The academic year and summer components both emphasize academic achievement and goal setting. They include:

  • Academic instruction/tutoring and enrichment classes at Fairfield University two to three Saturdays per month (October-May) and six weeks in the summer.
  • Regular visits with Upward Bound staff members at the student's target high school during the academic year.
  • College tours and related extra-curricular activities year round.


The primary objective of the residential positions is to ensure the well-being of the students in their charge, especially regarding safety, morale, discipline, interpersonal relationships within the group, and application to studies.

Since students are minors, the program staff has the responsibility for constant and close supervision to ensure students' well-being. Beyond supervision, staff are required to do planning and preparation to lead or actively participate in all extra-curricular activities as well as some classes. Unlike the position of a college RA, this job requires continuous interaction with students and allows little to no personal time Sunday night-Friday afternoon. To be most successful, resident advisors must be dedicated to working with the young people, demonstrate extraordinary patience and stamina, and have the flexibility to work when the students need them.

Compensation & Benefits

  • Free room during training and summer program.
  • Free breakfast, lunch, and dinner whenever students are in residence.
  • Salary: Head RA: $17; RA: $15


  • Move-in Sunday, July 2; departure is on Friday, July 29.
  • During the week, most activities will take place between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., with a few assignments to be completed in the evenings.
  • During all residential weeks, RA staff has round-the-clock supervision of students when not in service or on scheduled breaks/free time.
  • On weekdays, one RA will be in service during the program hours, and the other three RAs will have morning and afternoon free time. The RAs will rotate this responsibility week to week.

Students must be a rising sophomore, junior, or senior in good standing or above with a strong academic average. Strongly prefer prior residential advisor experience. Applicants must have a valid driver's license and prefer experience working with economically and educationally disadvantaged youth.

Message From The Director

We are on the move! Excellence is our destination, discipline is our path.


On behalf of the Fairfield University Upward Bound Program, I welcome you to our informative and user-friendly website. Our motto "We're on the move! Excellence is our destination, discipline is our path," reflects the core values integral to our college preparatory program. We provide the support necessary for academic success as our students transition from high school to college. Additionally, we aim to equip our students with the life skills necessary to enable them to become productive members of our society.

This website is an additional resource dedicated to serving our program participants from the district of Bridgeport, Connecticut. Thank you for visiting with us today.


Rony G. Delva, MSW
Program Director, Upward Bound

Program Components

Academic Year Component (October-May)

The Academic Year Component emphasizes academic achievement and goal setting. It includes:

  • Academic Instruction/tutoring and enrichment classes at Fairfield University tow to three Saturdays per month (October-May).
  • Regular visits with Upward Bound staff members at the student's target high school.
  • College tours and related extra-curricular activities.

Summer Program

The six-week Summer Program is an integral part of the Upward Bound experience. During the summer, students commute for two weeks (transportation provided). For the remaining four weeks, students reside on the Fairfield University campus. During the six-week program of study, students continue to develop their academic, personal, and leadership skills. Students attend classes, tour college campuses, and engage in a variety of field trips and activities.

Who Qualifies?

Bridgeport students who are enrolled in one of the three following high schools may be selected to participate in Fairfield University Upward Bound:

  • Bassick High School
  • Central High School
  • Harding High School
  • Fairchild Wheeler Inter District Magnet School

The applicants must be in 9th or 10th grade and potential first-generation college graduates. The selection is based on information obtained from a competed application including a copy of the parent's/guardian's most recent income tax return, school records, guidance counselors, teacher recommendations, and a personal interview with each student and parent.

What is expected of participants?

Students in the Upward Bound Program are expected to maintain a good attendance record, participate in planned activities, maintain a high grade point average in their high schools, and work to the best of their abilities.

What Educational Services are offered?

The Upward Bound Program provides academic instruction in mathematics, laboratory sciences, composition, literature, foreign languages, history, and computers to help students successfully complete their high school classes and prepare for post-secondary education.

  • SAT preparation
  • CAPT preparation
  • Tutoring
  • Cultural enrichment
  • Assistance with financial aid; college entrance applications
  • Study Skills
  • College Tours
  • Academic Counseling
  • Career Counseling


The Fairfield University Upward Bound Program is designed to assist first-generation, low-income students to achieve their goal of college attendance. To be eligible for the program, a student must aspire to earn a bachelor's degree and demonstrate academic need, be a first-generation college student (neither parent holds a bachelor's degree), be a citizen of the U.S. or a permanent resident, and attend Central, Bassick or Harding High School.

Our goal is to increase the number of first generation students entering and succeeding in college. Upward Bound offers students the opportunity to:

  • Enhance academic performance
  • Engage in career exploration and leadership development
  • Experience first-hand college life on a college campus
  • Increase a student's possibilities of earning a scholarship
  • Prepare for college
  • Tour a number of college/university campuses
  • Develop financial Literacy & Information Fluency

No. The Upward Bound Program is free to participants.

The Upward Bound Program expects that students attend the Academic Year Program (including tutoring sessions, Saturday sessions, field trips and other activities) and the Summer Residential Program. Additionally, we expect that students will maintain at least a "C" average in every class, adhere to the student pledge, have a willingness to work hard, have a positive attitude, and stay open to possibilities and opportunities. Our ultimate goal is for students to apply to, enroll in, and graduate from college.

Transportation to Saturday sessions, Summer Program commuting weeks, cultural events, college tours and field trips is provided. Occasionally, transportation will be from a student's school or other location. Transportation is not provided for tutoring. Students must be picked up from tutoring at school during the academic year.

No. Upward Bound students are encouraged to apply to, enroll in, and graduate from any institution of higher education. Our goal is for our students to obtain at least a bachelor's degree.

No. During the Junior and Senior year, the Upward Bound Program will assist scholars in researching scholarship opportunities and completing scholarship applications. During the Senior year, workshops will be held to assist students and parents complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) forms and help facilitate them through the financial aid process.

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