Northwestern Upward Bound Programs Receive Grant Renewal

August 30, 2022

Northwestern Oklahoma State University recently received notification from the U.S. Department of Education of the renewal of two federal Upward Bound grants.

Together, Upward Bound and Upward Bound Math & Science will receive over $2.9 million in grant money over the next five years, beginning in September. The grants will provide the institution with $595,202 annually, with both programs receiving $297,601 per year to serve 122 participants.

The university’s Upward Bound programs are designed to provide participants with STEM-focused academics and summer activities designed to give students the skills and motivation necessary for entry and success in post-secondary education. The programs are 100 percent federally-funded and serve students from area high schools in Alfalfa, Major and Woods counties.

Dr. Bo Hannaford, university president, expressed his appreciation to the director of Upward Bound at Northwestern, Jaunita Dotson, for her diligence and perseverance during the grant application and award process. He stressed the importance of this influx of federal funding to the college and surrounding communities.

“The funding secured for these grants provide great opportunities for high school students to not only learn more about possible careers but Northwestern as well,” Hannaford said. “The services provided to these students would not be available without these grants, and it makes an impact on our communities in northwest Oklahoma.”

Upward Bound works with high school students by providing services to help them complete high school and enter a college or university of their choice. The program offers support in academics, course selection, study skills, personal development, college admissions, financial aid and college scholarship applications.  

Students participate in the Upward Bound program at their local high schools and through other opportunities at the Northwestern-Alva campus. Parents and guardians are offered informational workshops, meetings and events to support the family through the college-preparation process, and students can attend college tours throughout Oklahoma. 

“The students in our Upward Bound programs have so much promise and untapped potential, but their opportunities might have been limited by their first-generation college status and/or socioeconomic status,” Dotson said. “Upward Bound opens up educational and career paths that can help break generational cycles that generally prevent students from pursuing a college education. We’re very grateful for the continued funding that will allow us to continue doing this important work.”

Dotson organizes and chaperons activities for the Upward Bound programs along with the Upward Bound coordinators.

Upward Bound staff provides after-school tutoring services at the following partner high schools – Alva, Burlington, Cherokee, Freedom, Fairview, Waynoka, Aline-Cleo, Cimarron, Timberlake and Ringwood. The program also meets with students for a once-a-month “All Day” Saturday program on the Northwestern-Alva campus. In the summer, the Upward Bound staff designs a six-week residential program that offers a positive learning experience that covers social, cultural and academic learning experiences. 

For more information about Northwestern’s Upward Bound programs for area high school students, contact Dotson at (580) 327-8113 or


Erin Davis, University Relations Specialist; (580) 327-8480

Northwestern Oklahoma State University

709 Oklahoma Blvd., Alva, OK 73717
Phone: (580) 327-1700

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