Summer Session

2020 Summer Academy

Due to new regulations at both institutions because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are not able to hold the traditional Upward Bound (UB) summer session on the campus of Wellesley College, and MIT is not allowing any “in-person” youth programs to run on its campus. In light of this, we will be providing our "first-ever" virtual summer program experience. The UB program is committed to offering an online platform for providing support and services to our students during this extended period of social distancing that is forcasted to be with us through the summer months.

The academy, which will run for six weeks between June and August; Monday through Friday 12:00-4:00pm, will provide academic enrichment and support through virtual classes and presentations, as well as college awareness and career exploration activities through various technological means.

Traditional Summer Session

The summer session, which is housed at Wellesley College and runs for six weeks between June and August, provides participants with a rigorous academic, residential, college-like experience. Forty-five to fifty of the students who are served during the academic year participate in the summer session. Program services offered during the summer include: classroom and academic support, presentation and workshop experiences, college advising, and cultural/recreational activities.

Classes and Academic Support

Students enroll in courses taught by experienced high school teachers from school districts in the Greater Boston area. Each participant enrolls in a mathematics class, an English class, and an elective in social studies, science, or world languages. Courses offered included freshman-senior English; algebra I, algebra II, trigonometry, geometry, pre-calculus, calculus and calculus 2; physics, biology, and chemistry; the African-American experience; Spanish I, Spanish II and Spanish III. Through a longstanding agreement with the Cambridge Public Schools, students can enroll in no more than two classes in an effort to receive summer school credit for courses that they have failed during the previous school year. Classes are held Monday to Friday; 9 am–12 pm, with accompanying study halls; 3–6 pm Monday through Thursday. In addition, students receive specialized tutorial assistance on an “as needed” basis in the evening; 7–9:30 pm.

Wellesley College Poster Presentations

The students in the science classes (physics, biology and chemistry) have the opportunity to participate in the Wellesley College Summer Research Program poster presentations, which include students from Wellesley College and Framingham High School. These students have the opportunity to put into practice what they are learning in the science classes by sharing their scientific findings with Wellesley College professors and researchers, their Upward Bound peers and staff, as well as with the community. This partnership also provides the students a chance to develop research and public speaking skills, as well as, to learn about careers in research and sciences.


Students participate in educational, recreational, and cultural workshops Monday to Thursday; 1:30–2:30 pm. Each student enrolls in two workshops that are designed to expose them to new and creative interests or to strengthen their knowledge in more familiar areas. Workshops over the years have included: Senior Seminar, leadership development, dance, event planning, talent showcase, yearbook, public speaking, female empowerment, nutrition and health, music reflections, and various sports.

College Advising

The program hosts an annual College Day event in July. Representatives from 40 – 50 colleges and universities participate and over 200 students, representing visiting TRIO Upward Bound programs from the Greater Boston area, are generally in attendance.

Cultural and Recreational Activities

The Program provides numerous activities that have as their purpose, the intellectual, social and cultural development of the participants. Such activities include: trips to museums, theatre, arcades, bowling, family fun centers, and any activities that are of special interest to the student body. Additionally, the students participate in community service projects that benefit local agencies in either the Wellesley or Cambridge community.