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

Angela wasn’t even sure she was going to finish high school. Today, she is an undergrad and grad degree holder from her dream school (UCLA), a successful higher education professional, and is an inspiring example of focusing on college dreams early on.

Sanchez says that, without scholarship support, her life today would have been very different. The first scholarship she ever received was a GEAR UP Education Trust Award as a student at Toll Middle School in Glendale, CA, a California GEAR UP school.

Back in 2005, when she received the award, she already knew she was going to college but wasn’t sure how she was going to afford it. This award opened her eyes to the world of scholarships and financial aid, a pathway she followed successfully and is a debt free graduate degree holder as a result.

LAURINBURG — The Scotland High School athletic department will host ‘A Step Ahead’ program for all rising senior football players on Thursday at 3 p.m. in the school’s auditorium.

The meeting is required for all players and their parents or guardians.

During the meeting, athletic director and head football coach Richard Bailey, along with GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) coordinator Rangel Moore, will share important information with the student-athletes about how they can be a step ahead of where they need to be academically for their senior year.

GEAR UP, or the Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, is helping 14-year-old Terrell Bullock-Wallington, of Mount Airy, prepare for college. The eighth-grader at the Morris Leeds Middle School not only meets with his GEAR UP manager, Terry Ward, but attends a host of pre-collegiate activities.

This has caused young Bullock-Wallington to now consider the possibility a STEM (science technology engineering and mathematics) career.

Perhaps no one is excited about the youngster’s interest in higher education more than his father, Robert Wallington. He has seen first-hand his son’s new interest in mapping out his educational and vocational future.

“I really recommend that all parents sign up their children for this program,” Wallington said. “The motto is gearing up students for past secondary education and looking forward at their future employment. The STEM model is great. It gives them to tools necessary to enhance their skills in a global world whether they decided to go to college or vocational school.”

Grant helps kids eye higher education

When Jacob Rose, a junior at Ridgeland-Hardeeville High, was in seventh grade he was reading on a third-grade level. He was also small for his age and shy. He was bullied in school. He didn’t know it, but his whole life was about to change because the Jasper County School District had just received a GEAR UP grant.

GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) is “…designed to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. … grantees serve an entire cohort of students beginning no later than the seventh grade and follow the cohort through high school,” according to the U.S. Dept. of Education.

South Carolina’s Commission for Higher Education, in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce, acknowledging the relationship between economic development and education, applied for and received a GEAR UP grant in 2011.

Money was directed to 22 schools, many of them located along what has been called South Carolina’s Corridor of Shame.

Dr. Mark Heinrich, Chancellor of the Alabama Community College System, has not only pledged to provide college tuition waivers to the 9,300 seventh and eighth grade students that make up the inaugural cohort of GEAR UP Alabama (GUA), but Chancellor Heinrich has extended the same courtesy to the legal guardians of GUA students. He states, “We are excited to partner with GEAR UP Alabama by providing full scholarships to the Class of 2020 and 2021 to attend any public community or technical college in the state of Alabama who meet the specified criteria for college admission. Moreover, we are committed to providing tuition assistance to parents of GEAR UP Alabama cohort students who qualify for admissions”.

Source: West Alabama Watchman

MARION - Year one of the GEAR UP program in Marion City Schools is in the books, and officials operating the initiative said they're pleased with the results.

"By all accounts, we would deem it a success," Site Director Kelly M. Garrett said. "Last year, we were able to double the number of Harding High School students who completed the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). We also increased, by over 40 percent, the number of Harding High School students who applied for Marion Community Foundation scholarships.

"We don't feel that we can claim that entire number, because Marion Community Foundation did a great job of marketing in some ways that they haven't before. At the same time, they weren't seeing that kind of growth in other school districts, so I think we can lay a claim to at least a healthy portion of that increase."

GEAR UP, which stands for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, is a federally-funded grant program that targets middle and high school students.

Corning >> Nearly 800 Tehama County eighth-graders were invited Thursday to join the third annual Leadership Day at the Rolling Hills Casino event center, with five local schools participating.

This seven-day college preparation workshop event, put on by the Tehama County Department of Education, California GEAR UP — Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs — Tehama County high schools and College Options, has continued to engage students with workshops to help guide them through the next four years and beyond.

The Rolling Hills Casino Foundation and Expect More Tehama were two groups that made the Leadership Day a possibility, said Karissa Morehouse, who is Education Talent Search director of Tehama County and with College Options.

Monroe High alum Cody Dean credits the GEAR UP program for his success in plant science studies at Washington State University, where he recently graduated with a major in integrated plant science with a focus in agricultural biotechnology. He is now in graduate school at WSU.

Hot and heavy into the college application season, many Neah-Kah-Nie High School students are busy pursuing their next steps. Instrumental in this process is the school’s participation in College Application Week which is a statewide initiative coordinated by Oregon’s GEARUP program. Coordinator, Esther Troyer, has been using Oregon’s GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) resources since beginning her work as a counselor at Neah-Kah-Nie three years ago. “We want our students to be able to take advantage of the opportunities available to them and GEARUP events have been instrumental in helping them do that.”

Students are used to being at the center of the classroom, but for one night, parents will be learning the lessons.

Tonight, Wichita State’s ‘GEAR UP” program is hosting a financial literacy course for parents of Truesdell Middle School students.

GEAR UP stands for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs. It’s a college access program that is federally funded through the U.S. Department of Education. GEAR UP is designed to help students prepare for post-secondary education. Thursday’s workshop is aimed at getting parents financially fit.

“The better they are prepared to manage their money now, the better prepared they will be to go to college,” said Vic Chavez, executive director of the South Wichita GEAR UP program. “They'll be better prepared to pay for college and can start working on that right now.”