Review of the Upward Bound Program

HRD-83-19: Published: Mar 18, 1983. Publicly Released: Apr 18, 1983.

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GAO was requested to review the Department of Education's special programs for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. As part of that review, GAO evaluated the administration of the Upward Bound Program.

GAO found that, although Upward Bound has been in operation since 1965, it is unclear whether the program is achieving its intended purpose. At the 12 Upward Bound projects visited, about 50 percent of the participants who entered the program dropped out before graduating from high school. Ten of the 12 projects either did not properly measure the academic improvements made in the remaining participants' skill levels or did not adequately report to Education the academic skills obtained. In addition, the projects generally did not assess the postsecondary performance of participants. Because of the lack of data on academic skills and postsecondary performance, neither Education nor the projects know whether all of the program's goals are being achieved.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Responsive action was in process at the last update. However, Education's follow-up staff was unable to locate any program personnel cognizant of actions which were taken in response to this report since the spring of 1984.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Education should consider project dropout rates, the changes in participants' academic skills levels, and participants' postsecondary success when awarding new Upward Bound grants.

    Agency Affected: Department of Education

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Responsive action was in process at the last update. However, Education's follow-up staff was unable to locate any program personnel cognizant of actions which were taken in response to this report since the spring of 1984.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Education should require Upward Bound projects to measure the academic growth of participants and to report such growth to Education.

    Agency Affected: Department of Education

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Responsive action was in process at the last update. However, Education's follow-up staff was unable to locate any program personnel cognizant of actions which were taken in response to this report since the spring of 1984.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Education should develop a system to obtain accurate data on participants' postsecondary success.

    Agency Affected: Department of Education

 

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