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NCCEP WEBINAR: Access the PowerPoint slides and the webinar recording (90 minutes) for the following NCCEP webinar, held 3:00 pm-4:30 pm on December 10, 2014: "Issues, Challenges and Successes for GEAR UP Programs in Rural Areas."  To access the webinar recording, click on the resource link ( below). 
OVERVIEW DESCRIPTION: Throughout the U.S. GEAR UP programs in rural communities face unique challenges trying to facilitate college readiness and access for low-income, first-generation students, ranging from transportation issues, teacher quality and turnover, and inadequate K–12 resources and rigor to lack of post-secondary education and economic development opportunities. Many rural areas are also experiencing significant demographic changes, from population (and job) loss to growth in the number of English language learners.

What are the most important current and emerging trends affecting middle schools and high schools in rural areas? What needs to be improved? What innovations in policies, programs, practices, and technology are working well? What are the most promising strategies for making a systemic, positive impact on college and career readiness for low-income, first generation students? 

SPEAKERS (Click here to access the speakers' bios): Robert Mahaffey, Director of Communications, The Rural School and Community Trust (, Washington, DC; Troy Grant, Director of College Access Initiatives, Tennessee Higher Education Commission, Nashville, TN; Sara T. White, Project Director, GEAR UP Appalachia! Berea College, Berea KY; Zach Hawkins, Director of the GEAR UP Program, Montana Office of Commissioner of Higher Education, Helena, MT