Topeka, Kan. - A new program through Washburn University is raising the hopes of Topeka High School students pursuing a college degree. Washburn Upward Bound officially launches its programming from 9 a.m. – noon Saturday, March 25, in the Mabee Library on the Washburn campus.

    Washburn Upward Bound is designed to help first-generation, low-income students earn college degrees. Washburn considers students first-generation if none of their parents or legal guardians completed a bachelor’s degree (regardless if siblings or other relatives have earned degrees).

    Through a $1.4 million TRIO grant, Washburn will prepare up to 60 Topeka High students for college entrance through activities that increase academic performance, educational aspiration and knowledge of the college admissions process. Students in the program receive individual advising, after-school tutoring, Saturday and summer programming as well as dual enrollment. The program also assists students and their families in planning for postsecondary education.

    “Washburn University is proud to sponsor Upward Bound at Topeka High School because helping local students find the correct pathway to postsecondary education is part of our mission,” said Dr. Alan Bearman, interim executive director of enrollment management and dean of student success.

    The kick-off event invites students and their parents or guardians to campus, where they will learn more about the program and take a campus tour. They will meet the team, receive handbooks and take the first step of an exciting journey.

    “I am incredibly grateful to be working with Washburn University as we kick off the Upward Bound program,” said Dr. Sally Riley, program director, Upward Bound. “This federally-funded program will give dozens of Topeka High School students and their families the resources they need to achieve academically and grow personally. It is an honor to support these students and help them realize their college dreams.”

    Upward Bound is Washburn University’s first TRIO grant. TRIO offers eight federally-funded college opportunity programs, including Upward Bound, that motivate and support students from disadvantaged backgrounds in their pursuit of a college degree. Awarded in 2022, Washburn’s TRIO grant runs for five years and may be renewed if the program is meeting its stated objectives.


    Founded in 1865, Washburn University is a public institution with more than 6,000 students involved in more than 200 academic programs. Washburn’s programs lead to certification, associate, bachelor, master's degree or doctor of nursing practice and juris doctor degrees. The programs are offered through Washburn’s six primary academic units – College of Arts and Sciences, School of Applied Studies, School of Business, School of Nursing, School of Law and Washburn Institute of Technology (Washburn Tech).

    All programs are offered on either the 160-acre residential campus in the heart of Topeka, Kan., at Washburn Tech’s campus on Topeka’s west side or in the east Topeka facility. Washburn University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association and many of the individual programs have additional accreditations.

For further information, contact:
Lori Hutchinson
Interim Director of Public Relations
Telephone: (785) 670-1711
Cell: (785) 224-6212
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