GEAR UP in the News

At Utah State University, GEAR UP students from Wendover, Nevada, were hosted by faculty from the Kinesiology and Health Science Department. The students explored six different activities about brain control and balance. The GEAR UP program hopes to spark their interest in college through activities like this.

GEAR UP Alumni Leader, Amanda Haynes, from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) GEAR UP program was recently interviewed and highlighted in the Chronicle of Higher Education. She shared how her passion for science and engineering was sparked and sustained through GEAR UP activities. She is a senior at the UTEP and is majoring in mechanical engineering. The article highlighted how GEAR UP helped students like Amanda, and the detrimental effect a federal cut to GEAR UP paired with increased border wall funding could have in her community.

From West Virginia, educator Sarah Tucker testified before the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies to highlight the importance of STEM education. She encouraged the federal government to support STEM education by enhancing programs like GEAR UP.

John R. Rogers High School in Spokane, Washington was highlighted in the New York Times for their recent transformation. This school had low graduation and college readiness rates, high discipline rates, and had to change quickly. With strong leadership and the help of GEAR UP and other programs, the school now has a culture that prepares all students for higher education, regardless of their income.

Students at Pike County High School, in Alabama, enjoyed a first-hand look at the tech programs offered at Lurleen B. Wallace Community College during a recent visit. The campus visit was part of the GEAR UP program, which focuses on helping students pursue education and training beyond high school.

In Colorado, Greeley-Evans School District 6, more 2015 high school graduates enrolled in college than the previous year, seeming to turn around a steady decline in enrollment. The improvement was attributed in large part to both GEAR UP and the Advancing via Individual Determination (AVID) programs.

The Colorado River Union High School District’s College and Career Expo, hosted by the district GEAR UP program, featured about 100 vendors. The event was for students thinking about work or school after high school graduation. GEAR UP coordinators, Diane Beardsley and Amber Parker-DeWitt, agreed that it’s good to help students think about post-high school options early on.

Michigan GEAR UP was highlighted as part of Western Michigan University’s Office of Precollege Programming. The office provides high school students across the state direction and guidance needed before taking the next step to college and career.

In Montana, Troy High School valedictorian, Sarah Pierce, was recently awarded as GEAR UP achiever of the month! She will be speaking in Helena soon to share how GEAR UP impacted her schooling.

As 200 eighth-graders from Ponderosa Middle School clambered out of four yellow school buses at Klamath Community College on Friday morning, they gathered in color coordinated groups to prepare for Ponderosa Gear-Up day.

Gear-Up (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) is a federal grant program from the U.S. Department of Education that aims to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in college by providing funding to assist with educational field trips and workshops.

This is the third year that Ponderosa has received the $50,000 grant, Ponderosa Gear-Up grant coordinator Amy Hill said, which allows students to explore their options outside the classroom and be exposed to future possibilities.

In Tennessee, Grainger High School saw a sharp increase of the number of students who enrolled in postsecondary institutions immediately following graduation. In just two years, the number of students who enrolled immediately went from 25% to 75%. Vicki Farrar, the GEAR UP coordinator for Grainger County Schools, attributes this increase in large part to GEAR UP, along with Tennessee Promise.

New York City was the site of the 2017 NCCEP/GEAR UP Capacity Building Workshop. Eastern Oklahoma’s GEAR UP delegation joined over 1,400 GEAR UP professionals from across the nation at the workshop designed to help new and experienced GEAR UP professionals effectively meet their project goals and objectives through professional development and strategic planning activities. The workshop is coordinated by the National Council for Community and Education Partnerships (NCCEP) and is planned in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Education.

West Virginia GEAR UP recently launched the Student Success Society in GEAR UP high schools. The Student Success Society is a program that provides mentoring services to students. In celebration of National Mentoring Month and the benefits of mentoring, West Virginia GEAR UP is celebrating a program that will help more students succeed in high school and beyond.

“I am so excited… I’m going to college!”  “ I can’t wait until I tell my parents about this, wow.” These were just a few of the many comments students were saying after being accepted to college at the annual Massachusetts College Access Celebration (MCAC) at their high school in Worcester. Having attended several of the programs in our high schools last month I can attest to the excitement and the relief of the students knowing that they have been accepted by the colleges.

MCAC is part of the American College Application Campaign initiative sponsored by the American Council on Education. It is sponsored by GEAR UP ( Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs)  Massachusetts and administered by the Massachusetts of Higher Education in collaboration with the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority. Participating MCAC Colleges are American International College, Anna Maria College, Assumption College, Bay State College, Fitchburg State University, Nichols College, Quinsigamond Community College, Rhode Island College, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Western New England University, Westfield State University, and Worcester State University.

The empty coal train creaking its way through Madison, W.Va., captured the attention of residents on the streets of the once-prosperous community. Located in Boone County, the heart of coal country, townspeople hoped it was a sign that a coal mine was reopening — somewhere.

Devastated by the opioid epidemic and loss of good-paying jobs, Madison once supported three department stores. But that was a while ago. Now it is a shell of its former self.

Since then, it has struggled like many communities that have lost their economic base. Various federal aid programs have made funds available to rebuild devastated counties like it. Boone is one of 10 counties in the state that qualified for federal grant money through the Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, or Gear Up.

One of its beneficiaries is James (Ikie) Brooks, 21. His parents are representative of the economic woes in Madison. His father died after years of substance abuse, and his mother suffered for many years from drug addiction.