TRiO, an extension of Azusa Pacific’s Undergraduate Academic Success Center, secured a five-year $1.3 million Upward Bound grant from the U.S. Department of Education that will provide opportunities for first-generation and low-income Azusa High School students to excel in their higher education pursuits.

This grant enables APU to deepen its partnership with the Azusa Unified School District (AUSD) . Beginning September 1, the Azusa Pacific Upward Bound program will select 60 students each year from Azusa High School, providing the necessary resources to ensure their grade-level competency and ability to pass state mandated exams. Activities entailed in the program include academic instruction, counseling, mentoring, work-study programs, field trips, parent workshops, and financial literacy classes designed for students that are traditionally underrepresented in postsecondary education.

“This is what we mean when we talk about equity in education,” said AUSD Superintendent Linda Kaminski, Ed.D."It's about recognizing the potential in all students, and providing them with whatever help they may need to tap that potential. APU is a wonderful support for our students.”

LaTesha Hagler, Ed.D. senior director of TRiO Programs, is the first person in her family to earn a college degree. As such, she understands the unique struggles and capabilities of the youth Upward Bound serves. “I seek to encourage and inspire first generation students to thrive. Education is a platform that can help these students make a difference in their own lives and in the lives of their families and communities,” said Hagler.

In addition to Upward Bound, Azusa Unified School District and Azusa Pacific University recently launched a pathway to college for students who attend Azusa high schools. This agreement provides Azusa students who meet admissions requirements with guaranteed admittance to APU, a $10,000 renewable scholarship, application fee waiver, and support with the application process. This $10,000 scholarship can be combined with the $5,000 renewable Nancy Moore/Celebrate Azusa Citizen Scholarship and the Celebrate Azusa/Cynthia Cervantes McGuire Scholarship. APU students who receive these awards join the Azusa Scholars Program. On average, APU has 28 Azusa Scholars enrolled, which amounts to $140,000 annually committed to the advancement of Azusa’s most qualified students.

In fall 2015, APU received $1.1 million from the Department of Education to fund and start the university’s first TRiO Student Support Services program. TRiO is a collection of seven federally funded programs that provide higher education access and support to those for whom access has not traditionally existed. TRiO Student Support Services provides opportunities for academic development to motivate students toward successful completion of their degree.

Rachel White
Associate Director of Public Relations
(626) 815-4502 |