Director’s Message

Academic Program Director

End of Year Remarks from Director

The 2019-2020 academic year was one of change, growth, and unprecedented, for the Upward Bound Classic Program at the University of Delaware. 

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, the Upward Bound Classic program has worked tirelessly to revolve its services and assist its students.    The fact is that the pandemic has hit our student population extremely hard. There is a tremendous inequality in technology for first-generation, low-income students.

As schools changed their original format to distance learning in March 2020, numerous of our students in the program did not have access to the essential equipment and technology to do their work and study from home. Some students had to share one device with multiple children in their households. Others had no reliable internet, and many were finishing all school assignments on their phones.

Upward Bound staff were able to purchase additional laptops for student use and provided technology for program participants. The program was pleased to have provided over 50 laptops to support students’ transition to distance learning.

while we had to modify and adjust our summer program to online format, I am incredibly proud of the hard work and effort that our students and staff have put into making it a successful year.    We are committed to advancing knowledge and transforming lives, and this year’s report is a snapshot of the program’s performance over the past academic year. The Upward Bound Classic team strives to uphold the mission, vision, and values, of the program through the use of proven best practices and data-informed strategies with an earnest goal of contributing to our scholar’s success.

Student persistence, retention, and graduation remain at the forefront of our signature programs such as the virtual HBCU Fair, College Fair, College Tours, Student Leadership Conference, and our virtual summer intensive program. 

We also understand the value of extracurricular activities on student development and to that end; we encourage scholar’s participation in athletics, leadership and mentoring programs, Student Government Association, and many events highlighted here on the site.

Other noteworthy programs and initiatives that contributed to our student success last year include our partners from the New Castle County school districts, Office of Financial Aid and Advising, the Professional and Continuing Studies Department on this campus, The John Maxwell Team for Leadership and Mentoring, NSC LEAP LLC, and our TRiO family.

During the 2019-2020 project year, Upward Bound:

  • Helped 2020 graduates earn over $1 million in scholarship funds
  • Provided 5000 hours of tutoring, SAT prep, and writing assistance
  • Held three online SAT prep boot camps where 80% of juniors improved their scores by one or more points
  • Guided program students in earning college credits through dual enrollment
  • Planned and executed 30+ online co-curricular workshops and events.
  • Observed 92% of our graduates enrolled and accepted into Udel.
  • 100% of program students graduated or moved on to the next grade level.

In addition to primary and career exploration services, Upward Bound also provided the following remote programs in summer 2020:

  • Virtual Summer Academy (52 students)
  • Online dual enrollment course (7 students)
  • Online SAT/ACT Prep Course (20 students)
  • Online SAT Prep Boot Camp (20 students)

Finally, to my Program Coordinator, Nafatari Manigault, (AKA Ms. T), thank you for the excellent work you do each year for our program.  Your commitment and unprecedented effort during this Covid 19 to our students is unparalleled and appreciated. It is indeed my honor to serve the Upward Bound Classic Program with you.

 I look forward to the next academic year with great enthusiasm and anticipation.



 John K. A. France

John K. A. France, Ed.D.

Academic Program Director