In the News

Schools across the nation and Oklahoma recently marked Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, also known as GEAR UP Week.

“GEAR UP helps students and families by improving awareness of college opportunities and by making it easier for students to access and enroll in college,” said Oklahoma Higher Education Chancellor Glen D. Johnson.

“Oklahoma GEAR UP partnership helps Woodward students better prepare for college,” said Kristi Allison, spokesman for Oklahoma State Regents of Higher Education. “Since 1999, Oklahoma has received three consecutive, multi-year, statewide GEAR UP grants and has helped improve educational outcomes for thousands of Oklahoma students.”

GEAR UP is a six-year matching fund grant program from the United States Department of Education and is for high-poverty middle schools and high schools. GEAR UP programs must include the following: an early intervention component designed to increase college attendance and success, raise the expectations of low-income students, and have a scholarship component. GEAR UP funds are also used to provide low-income students with college scholarships, as explained at the website.

Woodward has partnered with GEAR UP to motivate and prepare students to enter college and succeed.

“During 2014-15 school year, Gear Up helped provide early intervention services and strategies for approximately 1,151 Woodward students in grades seven through 12,” said Allison.

Some impressive results of the Woodward GEAR UP program include the following:

*574 students toured a college campus to learn about academic programs and campus life

*76 educators attended GEAR UP professional training in school leadership, school data analysis, curriculum planning, advanced science and math teaching strategies, counseling for college readiness, and working with students from special populations

*227 students received academic tutoring or mentoring

*1,171 students received financial aid information

*132 high school juniors took a free ACT exam

*90 high school seniors took the ACT exam

*77 students in 8th-10th grades enrolled in Oklahoma's Promise

*26 high school juniors/seniors participated in concurrent enrollment, earning college credit while in high school

*157 high school seniors participated in College Application Week and completed college admission applications

*400 freshman attended rookie camp or back to school sessions

*881 parents participated in college planning and financial aid workshops

*3 high school seniors graduating in 2015 attended a freshman bridge program at a college or university to help ease the transition from high school to college

For more information about the GEAR UP program, check with your local Middle School or High School principals and/or counselors. To reach Allison, call (405) 225-9282.