During the school year, Upward Bound staff meet with students weekly at their school and monthly on the Minnesota State University, Mankato campus. The weekly meetings at school involve tutoring, academic and personal guidance, information and strategies for success in high school and beyond, and help in selecting and applying to colleges. Meetings take place at students' schools during study hall or after school (if the student does not have a study hall). Monthly Saturday meetings take place on campus and we provide transportation to and from the session for those students attending school outside of Mankato. These meetings typically run from 10:30 a.m. until 3:00 p.m., and include academic activities, lunch and recreation. We don't take students out of class or other school related activties except on rare occasions.
Each summer, students can participate in a 6-week program at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Students take classes in campus buildings and live in campus residence halls. We are in session every day, including weekends, except for the weekend following the 3rd week of classes. Classes are held Monday - Friday. English, math, science and discussion courses are held in the morning. Students choose two interest area classes for the afternoon - photography, art, physical conditioning, robotics, rocketry, racquetball, volleyball, dance, chess, speech and other similar classes are offered. The rest of the afternoon and evening includes individual study, group activities, recreation, plays, athletics, social activities and relaxation. Our morning instructors are high school and university faculty; our afternoon instructors may also include Minnesota State University, Mankato students; while our residence hall staff are typically Minnesota State University, Mankato students, in addition to the program director.
On weekends we spend one day in the Twin Cities area visiting museums, shopping, dining and participating in other social, cultural and recreational activties. The other weekend day is spent on or around campus, participating in a variety of activities. We include some adventure education activities like ropes course, climbing wall and team building opportunities among our summer offerings.
Monday through Friday, we eat our meals in the residence hall cafeteria. On weekends, we eat at different restaurants in Mankato and the Twin Cities. There are two parent events during the summer: an orientation on the Sunday evening students move in and an Awards Banquet on the last evening of the program.
Those students who remian in our program until they graduate from high school may be eligible to participate in the Bridge Program. During the summer following their high school graduation, eligible students get to take two or three college classes during Minnesota State University, Mankato's summer session. These classes are supplemented with college readiness activties and seminars.
Other opportunities used to help students grow and become more motivated to succeed include trips and conferences for individual students, attendance at university theatre performances, and occasional overnight and multi-day trips for most students.