Kellogg Community College Upward Bound program awarded $2.1 million grant to help low-income college students access higher education

Upward Bound

Kellogg Community College is pleased to announce the College has received a nearly $2.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to support Upward Bound programming for low-income students for the next five years.

Annual funding awarded through the grant totals $417,067 per year and will support three full-time Upward Bound employees serving at least 82 students annually from Battle Creek Central High School, primarily via a comprehensive Summer Academy on campus.

“Our main goal for every Upward Bound student is to give them the skills and tools necessary to graduate high school and go into post-secondary education,” said Grindl Williams, director of the Upward Bound program at KCC. “This grant will enable the program to continue providing Upward Bound students the kind of accessible, high-quality education KCC is known for while giving them a jump start as they head into their high school classes this fall.”

The Upward Bound program is a federally funded pre-college initiative designed to prepare first-generation and/or low-income high school students for success beyond high school. The program’s Summer Academy, which started June 13 this year and includes 50 students entering ninth through 12th grades in the fall, is based on KCC’s North Avenue campus in Battle Creek through July 21.

The Summer Academy features classroom instruction Mondays through Thursdays, with Fridays reserved for “Friday Excursions” to culturally significant sites in the region. As part of the program, each participant is equipped with school supplies free of charge throughout the summer, as well as breakfast and lunch daily onsite. Applicants begin their participation in the program during their freshman year of high school and must maintain a 2.5 or higher GPA to continue.

Each of the seniors who graduates from the program moves on to a two- or four-year college or university, Williams said.

KCC Vice President for Student and Community Services Kay Keck called KCC’s Upward Bound program “a premier program in the state” and said the award validates the positive work accomplished since it began operating on campus in 1982.

“The success of Upward Bound programming at reaching low-income and first-generation students to prepare them for education and their future careers is undeniable,” Keck said. “Kellogg Community College’s Upward Bound program, under the guidance of Director Williams, has improved the lives of thousands of local students with positive results that will be seen in the communities the College serves for generations to come.”

For more information about Upward Bound programming at KCC, visit

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