Education and Human Development

TRIO upward bound

TRIO Upward Bound (TRIO UB) is an academic and college preparatory program funded by the US Department of Education. The purpose of TRIO UB is to develop the skills and motivation necessary for students to successfully complete high school and to enter and succeed in college. While there are hundreds of TRIO Upward Bound programs across the nation, this specific program is housed at University of Minnesota’s College of Education and Human Development (CEHD). We are currently funded to serve 118 Minneapolis 9-12th graders from Edison Sr. High School, North Senior Academy, Patrick Henry High School, and South High School. TRIO UB at the University of Minnesota has served Minneapolis high school youth and families since 1966.

TRIO UB provides intensive, year-round academic services and enrichment activities to prepare students holistically for success in college.

Learn more about TRIO Upward Bound through these alumni videos.

View our current newsletter and the Upward Bound brochure to learn more.

Apply to Upward Bound

Applications are being accepted for the 2023-2024 school year! Our priority application deadline is October 26th. Decisions are made in December, and new Upward Bound students begin the program in January. All three forms (Student application, Parent Application, and two Teacher's recommendation forms) must be submitted in order to be considered a complete application. For the teacher's recommendation form, you can simply forward the link to a teacher either in English, Science or Math and have them submit the form. We require two teacher's recommendations, so you can send the link to two different teachers.

TRIO Upward Bound eligibility

The criteria to be a part of TRIO Upward Bound are:

  • Be in the 9th or 10th grade and attend Minneapolis North, Patrick Henry, South or Edison High School.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the United States
  • Have a current grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 or above
  • Be a potential first-generation college student (parents have not earned a four year college degree) and be from an income-eligible family

Academic year - program services (October – May)

  • Tutoring intervention services Monday – Thursday
  • Four non-credit academic courses by grade
  • Student & parent educational workshops and meetings
  • Leadership and cultural capital skill building activities
  • College access and readiness advising
  • In-school advocacy
  • Local college and university tours

Summer program services (June - August)

  • Five weeks of non-credit academic instruction for rising 10-12th graders.
  • Three weeks of a residential living experience at University of Minnesota residence halls
  • Six weeks UB “Bridge” for graduated high school participants who will start college in the fall. View the 2023 summer retrospective video.
  • Leadership and cultural capital skill building activities
  • Annual regional college tour
  • Wilderness and leadership camping excursion

After school services

Our academic year services are designed to make sure students are thriving in high school and building skills, knowledge and the self-discipline it takes to be a successful college student. Students come to the University of Minnesota weekly during the school year.

Classes & tutoring

Each student attends a weekly 90 minute supplemental class. Subjects are based on grade. Free tutoring services are offered weekly Monday-Thursday 4:00pm to 5:30pm at the University of Minnesota. Tutoring is required for students who are struggling with classes in high school. All students can also come in for help on an as needed basis. All tutors are current University of Minnesota students.

Quote from Lisa Dornacker

Having previously been an advisor in TRIO UB, I have seen alumni from the program get accepted to their dream schools, awarded scholarships and eventually land a position in their ideal career field. What is so magic about TRIO UB is that you are surrounded by peers that are just as hungry and determined to succeed as you are. Plus the advisors, teachers and staff are just as invested in your journey as you are – they will go to bat for you!

Lisa Dornacker CCC Coordinator, Patrick Henry High School

Academic year programs

TRIO Upward Bound's academic year runs from October to May. The program offers weekly classes and tutoring services Monday-Thursday, 4:00-5:30 p.m. These services increase students' study skills, writing abilities, test taking strategies, and college preparation. Upward Bound also holds events and workshops that provide families with additional educational opportunities. All services are offered on the East Bank of the University of Minnesota. Students, grades 9-10, interested in joining the program can apply each fall.

    Science exploration and study skills

    This class provides the opportunity to explore, enjoy, and learn about many different fields of science. The class has four objectives:

    • to explore scientific fields and scientific careers so that each student has the opportunity to become familiar and excited about them;
    • to acquire study skills necessary for success in high school and college;
    • to learn about science and its methods so that each student has the opportunity to build a personal foundation of scientific knowledge;
    • to introduce students to the structures and requirements of the Upward Bound program in a fun and engaging manner.

    English composition

    Being a competent writer is essential for college success. The purpose of this course is to improve your reading, writing, and analytical skills in preparation for other TRIO UB components as well as college. You will learn to successfully develop, organize, and write three different types of essays: reflective, persuasive, and research. In addition, you will read example essays in order to learn how to analyze an author’s main argument and essay structure.

    ACT prep/career exploration

    You will undertake pre-ACT planning. This will include pre-assessment administration (mock ACT test), learning how to read the evaluation report after the mock ACT test, setting a test score target (goal), and time management during the final test. You will learn how to overcome test anxiety by planning individual study schedules according to individual test strengths and test weaknesses. You will study the overall mechanics of the test, familiarize themselves with test concepts, and master essential test taking strategies. Finally, you will explore some career aspirations by engaging in on-campus research. Moreover, investigative efforts will pinpoint what ACT scores are optimal to maximize college entrance options.

    College planning

    This class will prepare you for successful acceptance and entrance into college. TRIO UB College Access Advisors co-instruct this course. The following objectives must be met in order for you to successfully achieve this goal:

    • Research and complete admission applications to at least five institutions of secondary learning, including the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.
    • Research and complete at least eight scholarships.
    • Learn and practice skills that will contribute to success in post-secondary education and the preparation for such.
    • Practice time management skills, study skills, stress relief techniques, and organizational skills.
    • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and engage in concepts of financial literacy.

    Quote from Eryn Warne

    Everyone could use a little help on their way to college. There are so many things to know, prepare for and do—it can be overwhelming, but well worth it. TRIO is like a personal tour guide on the path to college—the TRIO staff will make sure you have access to all their insider tips to make your college dream come true. You can do this. TRIO can help.

    Eryn Warne Principal, Edison High School

    Summer session

    Summer academic program is five weeks, Monday-Friday, during the summer. Each student takes four courses that are 80 minutes long each day. Every student will have a math and English course as well as two electives, based on grade level. UB offers a variety of afternoon courses: Forensic Science,Computer Literacy, Economics, Intro to Latin, Leadership & Advocacy, and College Exploration. Our program also provides students with the opportunity to earn Minneapolis district ALC credit in four courses: English 9, English 10, Intermediate Algebra, and Geometry. Students may earn up to 0.5 credits for each math and English class successfully passed.

      Residential living experience (rising 10th – 12th grade students)

      Get a feeling for full college life and independent living over the summer. For three weeks (the last three weeks of summer classes), you'll live in a residence hall at the University of Minnesota, have a roommate, and eat in a college dining hall, all just a quick walk to daily classes. The Residential living experience also includes activities and events in the evening to build cultural and social capital, leadership skills, and develop community with TRIO UB peers. You live on campus from Sunday – Friday.

      Bridge program (recent high school graduates and rising college 1st year students)

      The TRIO UB Bridge Program is designed for students who have recently graduated from high school and will enroll in post-secondary education in the fall immediately after high school graduation. The purpose of this program is to help “bridge” the gap from high school to college. The TRIO UB Program consists of the following components:

      • 3-credit course transferable to most higher education institutions
      • 46-48 hours of supplemental instruction
      • University of Minnesota residential experience
      • Cultural, social, educational and community building evening activities
      • Free printing & computer lab access
      • Bridge cohort retrospective and legacy project

      Math & science summer experience

      TRIO UB has partnered with the Regional Center for Math and Science at the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay to offer TRIO UB 10th graders interested in STEM career fields a unique opportunity to explore and learn in a science-focused summer environment. Eligible South or Henry high school TRIO UB participants are eligible to apply for six-week summer experience. Travel and living expenses are paid, and this program will take the place of TRIO UB summer services held at the University of Minnesota. This is a great choice for students considering a career in science, technology, engineering, or math fields!

      College tours

      After summer classes end, TRIO UB rising juniors get to take a three-day road trip around the state to visit colleges and universities. You will visit schools outside of the Twin Cities, and think about more schools before applying in the fall. You will meet with admissions counselors and current college students to learn more first-hand.

      Wilderness experience

      During this annual, five-six day overnight trip, rising 11th graders will explore their inner drive, become leaders, and change how they see themselves, peers, and the world. By facing the challenges that this unforgettable wilderness travel program offers, you will emerge not only physically and mentally stronger, but also with an increased mastery of expedition skills and a better understanding of their own capabilities and how to make a difference in the world. You will learn how to work as part of a team and how to be a leader.

      Employment opportunities with TRIO

      Are you interested in teaching, tutoring, or mentoring youth? Apply for a job working with TRIO Upward Bound students! We are looking for staff that are dedicated to helping high school students succeed academically and prepare them for a successful transition to college. Individuals with experience working with youth from diverse backgrounds and a passion for education are strongly encouraged to apply.

      There are several different job and volunteer opportunities with Upward Bound during the academic year and in the summer. These include:

      • instructors
      • teaching assistants
      • tutors
      • office assistants
      • internships

      Hiring cycle

      TRIO Upward Bound typically hires during two key periods of each year:

      • Academic year: Upward Bound hires in August/September for the fall semester and December/January for the spring semester.
        • Applicants must be currently enrolled UMN students with work-study
      • Summer: Upward Bound hires in March/April.
        • Summer positions are open to students and non-students. Positions include  residential assistants who live in a UMN dorm with UB students during the five week residential program.


      TRIO Upward Bound
      40 Education Sciences Building
      56 East River Road
      Minneapolis, MN 55455

      Phone: 612-625-3021
      Fax: 612-625-0704

      Sarah Yang Sarah Yang

      Sarah was born in Yuba City, California. She moved to Minnesota when she was 10 years old. Growing up, Sarah had attended three different high schools.

      Sarah Yang
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      Madison Sauke Madison Sauke

      Madison is a Class of 2024 University of Minnesota graduate who earned her B.A. in Anthropology.

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      Tricia Wilkinson Tricia Wilkinson

      Tricia graduated from the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota with a bachelor of arts in psychology in 2004.

      Tricia Wilkinson
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      Samantha Parker Samantha Parker

      Samantha was born and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota and after high school continued her education at Concordia University-Saint Paul where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology.

      Samantha Parker
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