The College Access and Persistence Services (CAPS) Outreach Center supports outreach services that help students overcome social, academic, financial, and cultural barriers in higher education.
Research shows that major problems exist in recruiting and retaining low-income and first-generation students in postsecondary education programs. Statistics indicate that individuals who come from disadvantaged backgrounds are significantly less likely to pursue a postsecondary education successfully than their more privileged counterparts.
The goal of CAPS is to prepare individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds to succeed in postsecondary or professional academic programs. To accomplish this goal, the staff provides activities to:
- strengthen math and science skills of students interested in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields;
- to improve pre-college preparation, college admissions, and financial aid application processes; and
- to provide the skills and motivation necessary for completing college graduation requirements.
Similar activities also assist adults and military veterans who do not have baccalaureate degrees. The center is funded in its entirety by external funds. Approximately 60,000 students have been served for more than 30 years by project staff. New opportunities for funding are continually reviewed to identify grants that will expand the number of students we serve.
The staff at CAPS helps students succeed as they discover their potential and explore opportunities they never knew existed. Some students experience important facets of college life while still in high school and gain exposure to academic, cultural, and social experiences. This helps them to improve their quality of life and advance to successful careers.
“Upward Bound is giving me the chance to advance in high school by taking college prep courses now. But the best part is making new friends. By being together here, we can help each other succeed. I’m just grateful for this program.”
—Manuel Ramos, 14, wants to be a graphic artist