Veterans Upward Bound Coming to ATU

Arkansas Tech University has earned a federal grant that will allow the institution to enhance its support for veterans of the U.S. Armed Services.

Veterans Upward Bound will provide student success resources to 125 veterans at ATU each year. It will be the fourth TRIO program at Arkansas Tech, joining the existing Upward Bound, Upward Bound Math and Science and Student Support Services programs.

The grant for Veterans Upward Bound at ATU is for five years. Grant funding for the first year is $263,938, and the anticipated funding from the U.S. Department of Education from Sept. 1, 2017, through Aug. 31, 2022, is more than $1.3 million.

Included in the funding are resources to hire three full-time personnel to administer the program, which will serve students on the ATU campuses in Russellville and Ozark. It is anticipated that students will be served by the program beginning with the spring 2018 semester.

“This grant will continue to provide opportunities for veterans at Arkansas Tech,” said U.S. Congressman Steve Womack, an ATU alumnus who retired from the Arkansas Army National Guard at the rank of Colonel following more than 30 years of service. “I am excited and hopeful that it will motivate veterans to enroll in a postsecondary education program and give them the skills needed to graduate.”

According to the U.S. Department of Education website, Veterans Upward Bound is designed to “motivate and assist veterans in the development of academic and other requisite skills necessary for acceptance and success in a program of postsecondary education.”

Fewer than 60 universities and colleges in the United States were selected to host a Veterans Upward Bound program for the 2017-22 cycle.

“I want to congratulate Arkansas Tech for winning this award,” said U.S. Senator Tom Cotton, a Yell County native who served as a U.S. Army infantry officer in Afghanistan and Iraq. “It is well deserved. Arkansas Tech has done so much to support our veterans, and I know these funds will help them expand their reach and allow more Arkansas veterans to pursue their education.”

Dr. David Underwood, who retired as associate vice president for academic affairs at ATU on June 30, initiated the grant process to bring Veterans Upward Bound to Arkansas Tech.

The development of the proposal was a collaborative effort between Underwood, Lucy Jones, external TRIO consultant; Shauna Donnell, director of admissions and assistant vice president for enrollment management; and the ATU Office of Sponsored Programs and University Initiatives.

Dr. Phillip Bridgmon, ATU associate vice president for academic affairs, is serving as the lead administrator for the program.

Learn more about the U.S. Department of Education Veterans Upward Bound program at https://www2.ed.gov/programs/triovub/index.html.

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