College launches math/science program for HS students

April 1, 2008 3:58:17 PM PDT
San Jacinto College North recently launched an innovative program designed to help selected high school students excel in math and science, while also preparing those students to succeed in college.The Upward Bound Math and Science (UBMS) program is a collaboration between San Jacinto College and high schools in the Channelview, Sheldon and Galena Park school districts. Selected students from the public schools will be carefully monitored and diligently piloted through their high school years, beginning in the ninth grade.

Workshops at the College will help the high school students with study skills, test taking, dealing with procrastination and similar issues. A San Jacinto College student advisor will also work closely with the students and their parents to ensure the students are meeting the program's high academic and discipline standards through their high school years. The program also features educational field trips.

Upward Bound students do not attend a special school, but rather attend traditional classes in area high schools. Their high school education is enhanced with supplemental curriculum, field trips, summer sessions, and workshops. Resources are available to them at San Jacinto College to further assist their needs.

The Upward Bound program is only available to students who meet specific qualifications -- those who are first generation (the first in a family) who will attend college, those who live in low-income households, those who are considered "at risk," and those who have been identified as having high academic potential.

About 140 Sheldon, Channelview and Galena Park ISD ninth-graders and their parents attended an induction ceremony held recently at San Jacinto College to receive information about UBMS and to sign participation contracts.

San Jacinto College North Dean of Student Development, Dr. Robert Vela, told the ninth-graders, "The academic and discipline standards of this program are pretty tough, but if you will stay focused and committed to the program, then you will do well through high school and you will also have a much better chance of graduating from college. Joining the program is your first step on your journey to educational success."

Jacqueline Howard Thomas, San Jacinto College's UBMS director, talked about the high demand in America for young people who will major in math and science.

"That's the reason the focus area of this program is math and science," Thomas remarked. "Students who pursue careers that require math and science skills will not have to worry about finding good jobs. The demand is very high and the jobs are out there."

She also talked about monetary incentives that are part of the program. Thomas noted that students who apply themselves in school and continue to meet the standards would receive stipends. Students who remain in the UBMS program from grades nine through 12 are not obligated to attend San Jacinto College after graduating from high school.

"We hope you will choose to attend San Jacinto College, but it's entirely up to you," Thomas told the group. "We just want to make sure you are well prepared for college."

For more information about the Upward Bound Math and Science program, contact Thomas by phone at 281-459-7693, or by e-mail at jacqueline.thomas@sjcd.edu. For more information about San Jacinto College, visit www.sanjac.edu.


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