State Fair Community College has received $257,500 from the United States Department of Education to continue the Upward Bound program that serves 50 eligible high school students at Smith-Cotton High School.

The funds are for one year starting Sept. 1 through Aug. 31, 2018. The grant cycle is anticipated to be for five years.


The program provides free services and support that motivates and equips students to complete high school and succeed in a postsecondary program. The services, based on studies and effective best practices, also will enable students to earn postsecondary credits while in high school.

Upward Bound was first established at Smith-Cotton in 2003. Jeromy Layman is the program director. Linda Creach is the coordinator, and Brandon Hammond is the academic advisor.

“We are excited to continue our partnership with the Sedalia School District,” said Layman. “Our program at Smith-Cotton High School has seen many successes with students attending colleges across the country. We have students enrolled at a wide variety of schools from State Fair Community College and Missouri State University to the University of Chicago and the University of California - Los Angeles.

"Over the last five years, we have maintained high success rates with 75-90 percent of Upward Bound graduates attending college the fall after they graduate. We are extremely proud of these successes and look forward to working with students throughout this new grant cycle," Layman said.

Smith-Cotton Superintendent Brad Pollitt and Smith-Cotton Principal Wade Norton have worked with SFCC in offering the program to their students.

“Upward Bound has allowed Smith-Cotton students to successfully complete high school and navigate the waters of postsecondary education,” said Norton. “The real world experiences and support our Upward Bound staff provides students is amazing. We look forward to our continued work with SFCC, Jeromy and his team."

SFCC also received approval from the Department of Education to start an Upward Bound program to serve Eldon and Camdenton high schools starting Sept. 1. It was the only new request funded in Missouri.

Upward Bound is one of eight federal TRiO programs that “serve and assist first-generation college students, low-income individuals, and individuals with disabilities to progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to post baccalaureate programs."

For more information, contact Jeromy Layman, SFCC’s Upward Bound director, at or (660) 851-5378.

In the photo: State Fair Community College has received renewal notification from the U.S. Department of Education to continue the Upward Bound program at Smith-Cotton High School. The program provides free support and services to help eligible students complete high school and pursue a bachelor’s degree. From left, Upward Bound Director Jeromy Layman, Vice President for Educational and Student Support Services Dr. Brent Bates, Upward Bound Coordinator Linda Creach, Institutional Research Coordinator and Grant Writer Shawn Cripe, and Upward Bound Academic Advisor Brandon Hammond.

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