Upward Bound

TRIO Upward Bound is a pre-college program providing supportive academic instruction and tutoring in literature, composition, mathematics and science on the PNW campus.

Covid-19 Update

Upward Bound is open and fully operational to serve our students and families! Our hours of operation are Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. In-person appointments are available; however, Zoom and phone appointments are strongly encouraged.

In accordance with guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) and Purdue Northwest Upward Bound is encouraging virtual appointments to help prevent the transmission of COVID-19 and to de-densify the office space. To request an in-person appointment, contact our office at pnwupwardbound@pnw.edu or (219) 989-2392.

Student and staff safety is priority. Pre-screen yourself for symptoms of COVID-19. If you have any symptom, even if mild, do not come to campus. Reschedule your appointment. Please review the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for a list of symptoms or see PNW’s COVID-19 guide.

Apply to Become an Upward Bound Scholar Today!

Application Deadline: March 1

Upward Bound is now accepting applications for the 2022-2023 school year! Our Director, Mr. DuBose, shares all you need to know about this year’s application cycle, eligibility criteria, and more!

Questions? Contact Ms. Garcia, Outreach Coordinator at garci346@pnw.edu.


Participating in Upward Bound

Upward Bound offers special workshops and seminars regarding careers, college admission and financial aid as well as activities that encourage parental involvement, personal responsibility, and positive self-esteem. Our program fosters increased knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of people from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds.

Eligible Schools

Students attending the high schools below may be eligible for participation in Upward Bound. Students not enrolled in these schools may be eligible for assistance in Upward Bound programs at nearby universities.

East ChicagoEast Chicago Central High School
HammondHammond High School
Clark High School
Morton High School
GaryWest Side High School
Roosevelt High School
Calumet High School
Thea Bowman Leadership Academy

The History of Upward Bound

Since 1966, Purdue University’s Upward Bound Program has helped hundreds of students prepare for a successful college education. Purdue’s Upward Bound Program is one of seven Federal TRIO Programs funded by the U.S. Department of Education. All TRIO programs are vested in the notion that all committed students deserve an opportunity of a higher education (without regard to race, gender, national origin or ADA status) regardless of their family’s economic resources and or educational background. However, specific rules for acceptance and participation vary by program type.

Spring 2022 Saturday Academy Program Information

Saturday Academy Sessions (for a full list of events, click here) 

  • January 15th- In-person
  • January 29th- In-person
  • February 12th- Virtual
  • February 26th- In-person
  • March 5th- In-person
  • March 19th- In-person
  • April 9th- In-person
  • April 30th- In-person
  • May 7th- In- person
  • May 21st- In-person


Bus Schedule

Bus transportation will be provided on all in-person Saturday Academy dates. Be sure to fill out and submit the Spring Orientation Packet listed below to sign up for the use of bus transportation. For pick up times and locations, please email us at pnwupwardbound@pnw.edu.

Summer 2021 Residential Program: Recap

Three-Year Plan

Upward Bound is a continuous three-year program consisting of a five-week, nonresidential orientation program, a seven-week, summer residential component, and an eight-week nonresidential college experience, as well as Saturday classes during the academic year

A three-week, nonresidential, orientation program at the Hammond campus. Students attend classes daily and attend in field trips as well as meet with the second and third year program students at both the Hammond and West Lafayette campuses. Classes are high school level “college-prep” classes and may be accepted as “partial credit” by the student’s high school.

Juniors will participate in a seven-week, summer, residential component at the Purdue University West Lafayette campus. Students live in a Residence Hall with program staff resides in the same hall with the program students. (“In Loco Parentis” is in effect at all times!)

Students take high school development classes, help mentor the new (first year) students, produce a summer “year book,” take advanced college level study skills courses, and receive academic credits granted by the student’s high school. Students in this phase are eligible to take aviation classes at the Purdue University Airport, where the renowned heroine, Amelia Earhart taught aviation to college students!

Seniors will experience in an eight-week, nonresidential, college visit at the Hammond campus. Students are expected to commit to the following:

  • Take a maximum of two courses for a total of six (6) college credits
  • Engage in high school level skills enhancement classes
  • Commit to an advanced writing course
  • Undertake career development classes
  • Mentor the new (first year) students
  • Produce a weekly newsletter
  • and Participate in field trips

High school graduates, who are planning to begin their post-secondary education at any of the Purdue campuses, have the opportunity to participate in an optional eight-week, summer bridge component. Students in this phase may take these courses in either the Hammond or the West Lafayette campus and may enroll in college level courses for up to seven (7) college credits.

Resource Center

Technological Resources and Additional Forms

Excused Absence Form  – If you will be absent from a Saturday Academic Academy class, please complete this form within 48 hours of your absence.

Remind App – This app will be used to send updates about important class information.

Orientation Packet: Fall 2021 – Parents and students must print, fill out, and sign this packet before returning it to the Upward Bound office in the Classroom and Office building. If there is not a printer in your home, please contact your local library or Office Depot to print. The packet must be signed before they are returned to our office. 

Here is a list of libraries in Lake County, Indiana:

Yearly High School Checklist– A comprehensive list of steps that senior high school students should be taking in order to be prepared for college.

Upward Bound Tutoring – Students now have access to 24/7 online tutoring via  our personalized page on the Tutor.com website!

Contact Upward Bound

Classroom Office Building (CLO) Room 176
2200 169th Street
Hammond, IN 46323

Ronnell C DuBose, M.A.

Director, TRIO Upward Bound


(219) 989-2392

Book An Appointment With Ronnell
Classroom Office Building (CLO) 158B

Chicha Sanders

Chicha Sanders, M.S.ED.

Assistant Director, TRIO Upward Bound


(219) 989-8362

Book An Appointment With Chicha
Classroom Office Building (CLO) 158C

Celeste Garcia

Outreach Coordinator, TRIO Upward Bound


(219) 989-2478

Book An Appointment With Celeste
Classroom Office Building (CLO) 158D

Corrina Qualla Headshot

Corrina Qualls, M.Ed

Academic Coordinator, TRIO Upward Bound



Book an Appointment With Corrina
Classroom Office Building (CLO) 158E


A PNW student in a tie-dye t-shirt holds her notebook outdoors.

Upward Bound is Now Recruiting for Fall 2021!

Your scholar may benefit from being in the Upward Bound Program – a federally funded program housed at Purdue University Northwest that at no cost.

PNW School of Engineering Department Chair and Professor Nesrin Ozalp discusses the intricacies of a mechanical engineering project with a student. PNW ranks 60th nationally among the Best Engineering Programs by U.S. News and World Report.

Purdue University Northwest recognized in U.S. News & World Report Best College Rankings

Purdue University Northwest once again has been recognized among the best regional universities in the U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges rankings, released Sept. 14, 2020.

Students associated with PNW Trio Student Support Services

PNW Receives $1.7 Million for TRIO Student Support Services

TRIO Student Support Services received $1.7 million from the Department of Education to continue its service and support of first-generation, low-income, and underrepresented students at Purdue University Northwest.