Kelly Kowzan has been named the director of Central College’s pre-college programs. She will oversee Central’s Educational Talent Search, Upward Bound I and Upward Bound II. Each year, these programs provide tutoring, counseling, mentoring, financial guidance and access to college education to more than 1,000 participating students from area middle and high schools. All students in the program are low-income and/or are potential first-generation college students.
For the past year, Kowzan has worked as the associate director of Central’s Upward Bound program. She started working in the program 17 years ago as an academic coordinator and then advanced to leadership roles. She has been responsible for planning and directing the day-to-day operations of Central’s Upward Bound programs, including a target school-based academic-year curriculum and a summer residential academic program at Central for 190 students in grades 9-12. Participating students engage in academic, cultural and college-access activities that include direct instruction and academic support, field trips and leadership development activities. Students benefit from college visits, ACT preparation and assistance with college, financial aid and scholarship applications.
“I am honored to carry on Central’s vision for the continued growth of our pre-college programs,” Kowzan says. She replaces her long-time mentor, Louise Esveld ’74, who has held the position since 1998 and is retiring.
“We are delighted with Kelly’s move into this role. She brings experience, creativity and energy into an already very successful program. Her knowledge of and experience in Central’s higher education and summer programming will continue to provide strong options for students,” says Carol Williamson, vice president for enrollment management and dean of admission.
Kowzan holds a master’s degree in education and a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, both from the University of Northern Iowa.
Central’s pre-college programs are federally funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. Competitions for grant renewal happen every four to five years. Central’s programs have been continuously funded since 1966.