Welcome to the NCCEP newsroom!  Click on the links below to read the latest news from NCCEP and GEAR UP. 

A group of 22 seniors signed their letter of intent to attend UC Blue Ash College as part of the College Signing Day Celebration held at Norwood High School on April 29.

Some of the students will attend UC Blue Ash through the GEAR UP Norwood Program that was established in 2014 thanks to the Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) grant.

The funding, which includes more than $1 million for scholarships over seven years, is through the U.S. Department of Education.

Earlier this week, William Brooks Van Buren  (Brooks) agreed to interview with us. Brooks was last year's winner of the 2015 Youth Leadership Award. Since winning the award, he has enrolled in Purdue University and is currently in the midst of finals. Brooks talks about how the award has changed his perspective on his life and accomplishments!

KINGMAN - Highly informational meetings for a program aimed at sending more kids to college than ever will held at two Kingman high schools this week.

Every student from the 2018 graduating classes at Lee Williams High School and Kingman High School is participating in the GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs), a six-year federal grant managed and doled out to select Arizona school districts by Northern Arizona University.

Wednesday and Thursday nights will provide an opportunity for parents to find out how their kids are preparing for the future and to build a stronger teacher/student/parent relationship.

"Parents will get tons of info on this program," said Kingman High School GEAR UP Coordinator Shelly Moon. "The goal is to improve graduation rates and send more kids to college."

The grant funding follows a cohort of students from 7th grade through high school graduation, and is focused on pushing students to see college, trade schools and even success in the military and business world as a strong reality by helping them find the tools they'll need to accomplish their goals.

What do I want to be when I grow up?

Humboldt Unified School District sophomores are frequently asked to ponder this question as they find themselves about half-way through a federally funded program called Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP).

The district is one of nine in the state participating in GEAR UP.

The free program is designed to help students succeed in school and define their path going forward, specifically targeting the class of 2018.

“Our goal is to get the kids to be academically, socially and developmentally ready for post-secondary education, whether that be military, two year degree, four year degree, etc.,” said Sandra Clark, a GEAR UP Coordinator.


RED JACKET – Mingo Central High School welcomed some important guests on Tuesday afternoon, the presidents of West Virginia University, Marshall University and Southern W.Va. Community and Technical College for their College Day assembly.

Presidents Gordon Gee of WVU, Jerome Gilbert of MU and Robert Gunter of SWVCTC (Southern) all addressed the students, faculty and parents in attendance for the special day. Gary White of Logan, the former interim president of Marshall, was also at the event with Gilbert. Dr. Paul Hill, Chancellor of West Virginia’s four-year public colleges and universities was also one of the speakers.

All of the college presidents gave short speeches and talked about the importance of getting an education after high school.

MCHS Principal Teresa Jones welcomed the dignitaries and those in attendance. She was flanked by her counselors Tish Marcum, Christine Harmon and Riley Browning.....

.......Adam Green, Vice-Chancellor for Gear-Up, also gave a short presentation and talked about that program. West Virginia Gear-Up is a federally funded program that helps students in ten counties prepare to succeed in education and training beyond high school. “Gear-Up” stands for “Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs,” and the program’s goal is to help more students pursue their dreams of earning a college diploma or skillset certificate.....

Jessica Wheeler, a Person High School (PHS) senior who has a passion for education, recently received the Teacher Education Fellows scholarship to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG).

The $20,000 scholarship, awarded incrementally over four years, includes early internships, integrated seminars, networking events, community engagement opportunities and leadership development.

In addition, the scholarship allows recipients to participate in a study abroad program and also live in relative proximity in one of the residential colleges.

Wheeler feels that her experience in the Teacher Cadet One, Two, and Three programs at South Elementary School and Helena Elementary School gave her an edge over the other scholarship applicants.

Wheeler is a member of Person High School’s National Honor Society, Student Council and Key Club, and serves as a GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) ambassador.

NASELLE — Comet Career Day at Naselle-Grays River Valley School (NGRVS) March 23 attracted more than 50 career representatives, giving NGRVS and Wahkiakum High School students convenient opportunities to learn about a wide range of job options.

NGRVS Counselor Justin Laine dreamed up the event and credits others with helping make it a reality.

“For the past two or three years, I had been seriously contemplating a career fair involving our community members,” Laine said. “In fact, I had developed a list of 40 to 50 possible community members and penciled out a framework many times. I have long felt that we have a wealth of very caring, talented and successful people in our community who represent a broad range of careers. I thought that this might be a fun and engaging way to recognize and celebrate their many talents.”

The school’s GEAR UP team of Shirley Miller, Edie Glenn and Rachel Suomela and administrators Lisa Nelson, Karen Wirkkala and Brian Macy said, “Let’s set a date,” Laine said. (GEAR UP is an acronym for a Department of Education discretionary grant program entitled Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs.)

Susan Hill, college access adviser for Kansas Kids GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) spoke this week to the USD 503 Board of Education regarding the program actively helping students in Parsons.

GEAR UP is a college access program that is federally funded through the U.S. Department of Education designed to help disadvantaged students prepare for post-secondary education. Kansas Kids GEAR UP (KKGU) is a statewide program hosted by Wichita State University serving middle and high school students. The program branches out into six regions throughout the state.

Kansas is the only Gear project in the nation funded by the Department of Education that focuses solely on foster care students, Hill told the board.

Alabama Power engineers mentor eighth-grade students

Nearly 100 middle school girls turned out for the 2016 iCan Girls Engineering Conference recently at Alabama Power’s Corporate Headquarters.

The all-day event, held March 5, drew students from sixth-grade to eighth-grade from more than 50 metro Birmingham schools. Accompanied by their parents, girls were divided into teams assigned to three projects to learn about electrical, mechanical and civil engineering.

Colleges, universities and engineering societies were represented at booths to discuss educational opportunities. Current Alabama Power college co-op students were also  on hand to discuss their experiences.

“We hope, if nothing else, these girls and parents gained a better awareness of the limitless career options engineering offers,” said Jakkera Ellison, a transmission line design and support engineer.

The students learned about civil engineering by building foil boats. They explored electrical engineering by building minirobots using only pager motors and toothbrush bristles. Mechanical engineering concepts were used to build a catapult.

In an afternoon session for parents, Veronique Zimmerman-Brown, project director of GEAR-UP Alabama, explained how they can be more involved in the math and science areas of their girls’ education. GEAR-UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) Alabama is a competitive grant program of the U.S. Department of Education focused on 52 schools in Alabama’s Black Belt. The program is implemented in middle and high schools to boost the number of low-income students attending and succeeding in postsecondary education.

Ever heard the anecdote that North Carolina’s top state universities don’t really want students from Western North Carolina? Turns out it’s not just false, but nearly the opposite of the truth, a Carolina Public Press investigation has found.

Statistics from North Carolina State University in Raleigh show that WNC counties have among the highest acceptance rates for applicants.

While this may run contrary to popular wisdom, it’s not necessarily news to high school counselors who work with students to admission to college. The numbers at N.C. State have some WNC high schools thinking that small schools and increased funding efforts for rural districts are working to the advantage of their students.

The university provided CPP with county-by-county statistics for the number of students who applied, gained admittance and enrolled at N.C. State.