Reports to the President 1994-95
The Office of Educational Opportunity Programs was created in January of 1992
to organizationally locate both the MIT/Wellesley Upward Bound and MIT
Educational Talent Search Programs. MIT has operated the Upward Bound Program
since 1966 and began operation of the Educational Talent Search Program in
September of 1991.
Upward Bound and Educational Talent Search are two of six US Department of
Education: Special Programs For Students From Disadvantaged Backgrounds (TRIO
Programs) created under the Higher Education Act of 1965.
The goal of these Programs is to provide college admission and preparatory
information, academic support, advising, career information, and college and
career exploration opportunities to the economically and/or educationally
disadvantaged youth of Cambridge and Somerville.
To a large extent, the development of both Programs was influenced by the
research done by psychologist Kurt Lewin and his associates. Lewin's
hypothesis was that ego growth and academic performance were closely related.
Moreover, he concluded that a developing ego needs to experience success in a
warm and personal, structured environment for greatest development, in both a
personal and social sense. Lastly, it was determined that this personal and
social growth could be achieved through intervention outside of the
institutions of family and school. Educational Talent Search and Upward Bound,
through their year-round academic support and advising, represent just such
It has been long established that the effects of failure can be reversed
through gradual structured achievement. Moreover, the result of the increasing
success is a corresponding increase in the individual's level of aspiration.
The Educational Talent Search Program, now in its 4th year, is reporting
increasing success. Further, the Upward Bound Program continues its lengthy
record of success (90+ percent college enrollment of graduates and 70 percent
retention of participants annually) achieved during its 28 year existence
through the application of Kurt Lewin's theory and careful attention to the
impact of Program expectations.
Finally, since much of what students think they can achieve has been directly
related to what others think they can accomplish, the participants' perceptions
of their abilities are, to a significant degree, determined by staff
expectations. Thus, and largely due to this quasi-parenting relationship, the
Programs are able to exert such an influence upon the participants that their
academic persistence grows and results in increased post-secondary
The MIT Educational Talent Search Program is a year-round, co-educational,
program, located in Building 20, designed to assist participants, in grades
6-12, who live and/or attend school in Cambridge and in grades 9 - 12 who live
and/or attend school in Cambridge or Somerville to continue in a course of
education leading to graduation from secondary school and enrollment in
post-secondary educational programs. The Program is funded to serve 650
participants from disadvantaged backgrounds.
The following is an overview of the Program's year-round operation:
The academic year program is designed to inform, assist and support
participants during the school year through a number of after school, evening
and weekend activities:
The Educational Talent Search office is open for supervised study, on a drop-in
basis, four days a week: Monday - Thursday from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Staff
are available to provide assistance with homework or provide tutorial
assistance in content areas. Students are assigned to group or individual
study skills workshops on an as needed basis.
The Program offers workshops to supplement the instructional support provided
to participants. The workshops are offered to provide more specific support or
to address special interests (e.g., SAT preparation, Word Processing, Computer
Games, etc.) and are offered on a regular and as needed basis.
In an effort to assist participants as they attempt to cope with problems of an
academic, social, family or personal nature, the Program offers support and
referrals in the areas of school guidance, academic and vocational preparation,
and personal adjustment.
In an effort to provide both participants and their families with information
relative to college; choice, preparation, and the admission and financial aid
processes, the Program held four parent and ten student information nights,
took participants to six local College Fairs and sponsored eight college
visits. The Program also visited Tech Day at Massachusetts Bay Community
College and attended the Inroads Career Awareness Seminar as part of its career
The Program provided five field trips for the purpose of increasing the
intellectual, social, and cultural development of the participants. Some of
the sites visited were; Museum of Science, New England Aquarium and Mt. Snow
Ski Resort. In addition, the Program regularly visits several points of
interest, i.e., libraries, museums and laboratories, on the MIT campus.
The summer program provides both academic instruction to 63 (6th - 8th) grade
participants and a continued college information and exploration program to
participants in grades 9-12.
The summer academy for (6th - 8th) grade students provided classes in
Mathematics, Language Arts, and Social Studies. The classes, held
Monday-Thursday, are designed to provide both developmental assistance and
enrichment and are taught by experienced teachers from the greater Boston area.
Field trips are taken every Friday to various points of interest.
Since many of the participants in grades 9-12 hold summer jobs, the Program
provides continuing support through dissemination of information about area
college fairs, hosted a weekly career speaker series and sponsored two college
The MIT/Wellesley Upward Bound Program is a year-round, co-educational,
multi-racial, college preparatory program for high school youth who reside or
attend school in Cambridge. Currently in its twenty-eighth year, the Program
serves 70 academically promising young men and women from disadvantaged
backgrounds. The goal of Upward Bound is twofold: (1) to motivate client high
school youths such that they persist on to post-secondary education; and, at
the same time, (2) to provide them with the fundamental skills necessary for
success at the collegiate level.
The following is an overview of the Program's operational phases:
The six week summer program, conducted in residence at Wellesley College, is
designed to provide the participants with a rigorous academic experience.
Classes are taught by experienced high school teachers, and graduate and
undergraduate students from MIT, Wellesley College and other local colleges and
universities. Upward Bound participants must enroll in three classes, each of
which meets for an average of five and one-half hours per week. Also,
participants may request or be assigned to tutorials whenever the need arises.
Each participant is required to enroll in a Mathematics course, an English
course and an elective course (Social Studies, Science or Foreign Language).
Science electives include; biology, chemistry, physics and computers while
Social Studies address United States, African-American and World Histories.
The Foreign Language electives are Spanish I and Spanish II. The Mathematics
courses range from arithmetic to calculus and Language Arts courses cover basic
English and grammar through research paper writing and literature. Lastly, due
to an agreement with the Cambridge Public Schools, students may receive summer
school credit for failed courses taken for review.
The academic year program located at MIT, plays an equally important role in
the educational development of participants. Building upon the motivation and
enthusiasm developed during the summer, the academic year program is designed
to assist and support the participant while in school. To accomplish this
task, the following programs, staffed primarily by MIT and Wellesley College
students when appropriate (we continually strive to maintain MIT and Wellesley
College students' participation through our continued involvement as a
pre-practicum site for the Wellesley College Teacher Certification Program and
through various outreach efforts), have been developed:
The Upward Bound office is open for study, on a drop-in basis, four days a
week: Monday and Thursday from 3:00 to 6:00 pm and Tuesday and Wednesday 3:00
to 8:00 pm. Tutors are available to assist participants with homework problems
in addition to meeting individuals and/or small groups for specific content
The Program offers classes, specifically for the 9th grade students, in
Mathematics and Language Arts to supplement the instruction received at the
target school. Also, academic workshops are offered to address more
specialized participant needs (e.g., SAT preparation, Computers, Foreign
In an effort to help participants cope with the myriad of problems; academic,
social, family, etc., the Program offers support in the areas of guidance,
college, career and personal adjustment.
The Program provides numerous field trips which have as their purpose, the
intellectual, social and cultural development of the participants. Such trips
included: the Museum of Science, the New England Sports Museum, skiing,
bowling, and roller-skating.
Ninety-four percent of the Program's graduating seniors have enrolled in the
following institutions: Bennett College, Bentley College, Boston College,
Franklin Institute, Mount Ida College, Norfolk State University, Northeastern
University, Norwich University, Salem State College, Syracuse University,
University of Massachusetts at Amherst, University of Massachusetts at Lowell,
and Wentworth Institute of Technology.
Ronald S. Crichlow
Evette M. Layne
Reports to the President 1994-95