UBMS credits university collaboration to summer success

UBMS students with Professor Blanco in 3D Printing class.

Upward Bound Math-Science wrapped up another successful summer residential program for local high school students. The program, funded by a TRIO grant from the Department of Education, offers year-round academic enrichment to Pell-eligible, first-generation students of North Miami-Dade County. During the school year, the program provides students with opportunities to hone their math and science skills. Students receive the chance to learn the intricacies behind higher education, the tools to tackle them and the strategies to be successful post-secondary learners. In the summer, students pack their bags for five weeks of residential life, rigorous classes and immersive college experience.

UBMS provides students with four full summers of college experiences so that by the time they enter college, they are prepared academically, socially and emotionally for the enormous transition. The program is designed to bridge the gap for these first-gen students so that they graduate high school and college with every possible advantage available to them. 

This summer, students took secondary math and science classes, as well as courses in subjects like 3D printing, biomedical engineering and genetics. Sessions were all led by FIU faculty while rising seniors participated in dual enrollment courses. AmeriCorps volunteers – comprised of FIU graduate and undergraduate students – worked closely with program participants to guide them through the summer experience. 

University partnerships with the College of Arts, Sciences & Education, the College of Engineering and Computing and the Department of Architecture provided unique experiences for the students. 

“One of the best qualities of our summer program is the depth of collaboration that existed within the various colleges on campus. In a matter of weeks, students move closer to finding the careers that mean the most to them all because they were exposed to the various disciplines within specific fields,” says Shadrack Joseph, director of Upward Bound Math-Science.  

Students also had the opportunity to take a Life Skills 101 course, which discussed pertinent lessons such as the importance behind good credit and building a proper resume for a future employer. 

At the close of the residential program, students walked away having spent a productive, enriching and stimulating five weeks to prepare for the school year ahead, and the years to come. 

“Ultimately, our program is about empowering students, and giving them the tools they’ll need to succeed in post-secondary academia in the areas of their choosing,” says Joseph.