Robert Cobb Jr., of Greensboro, N.C., a 1986-89 participant in the Virginia Tech Upward Bound program, was recently named Virginia’s TRIO Achiever for 2004. Federal TRIO programs include Upward Bound and Educational Talent Search.

Cobb received his award at the Mid-Eastern Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel Regional Conference in Washington, D.C., in April.

Cobb is a 1989 graduate of Magna Vista High School and the Virginia Tech Upward Bound Program. He graduated from Virginia Tech in 1994 with a bachelor's. After teaching in public schools for five years, Cobb received his master’s from North Carolina A&T State University and his Ph.D. from Virginia Tech. He is an assistant professor in the School of Technology at North Carolina A&T.

The Upward Bound/Talent Search office manages the two federal TRIO programs for the region, both of which target potential college students from families with parents who did not earn four-year degrees and/or with low incomes. The programs have a very high success rate, with 95 percent of the students from Virginia Tech’s Upward Bound program and 70 percent of the Educational Talent Search students enrolling in college. A national survey shows Upward Bound students are four times more likely to graduate from college. Upward Bound, a federal program created in 1967, helps guide talented high school students toward a college education while improving their academic skills. It provides counseling in matching interests with abilities, choosing a career, tutoring to improve grades, training in library research techniques, selecting an appropriate college, and applying to colleges. Staff counselors visit each of the 115 Upward Bound students in 23 schools in 13 school districts once a month for individual sessions. These students must be from low income homes and/or homes in which parents did not graduate from four-year colleges.