NCAS seeks to leverage strengths of successful programs that are operating in the academic institutions and surrounding communities. NCAS currently partners with the TRIO/Upward Bound program at Howard University, and at the University of Texas, El Paso. The goal of Upward Bound is to increase the rate of high school students, low-income, and first-generation college-goers, complete secondary education, and enroll in and graduate from postsecondary institutions. These partnerships play a significant role in invigorating interest in the STEM areas for underrepresented and underserved populations, through a variety of programs, including but not limited to: hands-on STEM careers exhibitions and community science festivals; STEM career shadowing and guest STEM lectures.