Oklahoma GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) has awarded subgrants totaling nearly $600,000 to 23 school districts and sites to initiate successful education strategies that improve college access and preparation at local levels.
GEAR UP, a federally funded program administered by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, is designed to better prepare middle and high school students for college through academic preparation programs and scholarships for students, professional development activities for educators and college access information for students and parents.
The 2007 GEAR UP College Access Subgrants of up to $25,000 will help fund professional development for teachers as they adopt new classroom strategies proven to help students learn more effectively. The grants will also provide much-needed funding for student tutoring, mentoring, career exploration programs and ACT prep materials.
“Since 1999, GEAR UP has relied on partners with impact at the local level to assist in helping Oklahoma students better prepare for college,” said State Regents’ Chairman Bill W. Burgess Jr. “Students are more likely to respond to information coming from local sources they know and trust, and these subgrant funds help the school, community and college partners reach the students more effectively.”
The College Access Subgrant program began in 2006. Additional grants will be awarded annually through 2010.
The 2007 recipients include: Ardmore Middle School; Blackwell Public Schools; Canute Public Schools; Dewey Public Schools; Earlsboro Public Schools; Eldorado Public Schools; Elmore City/Pernell Public Schools; Fairview Public Schools; Gore Public Schools; Keys Public Schools; Central, MacArthur and Tomlinson middle schools and Eisenhower Junior High, Lawton;Jarman Middle School, Midwest City; Minco Public Schools; Nowata Public Schools; Sallisaw Public Schools; Springer Public Schools; Tahlequah Public Schools; Thomas-Fay-Custer Unified Schools; Weleetka Public Schools; and Wynona High School.
Subgrant recipients must adopt at least one of the following research-based, student-intervention programs at their sites. These programs help teachers better understand how different students learn. They include:
“We are extremely pleased the GEAR UP College Access Subgrants will allow so many schools the opportunity to implement additional successful learning strategies,” said Chancellor Glen D. Johnson. “Research has proven these methods are effective in helping teachers better prepare students for college and for success in life.”
Additionally, subgrant recipients must also partner with at least one community-based organization and at least one state college or university for local college preparation activities, such as promotion of Oklahoma’s Promise; tutoring; mentoring; after-school and Saturday programs; summer programs; college awareness counseling; financial aid counseling; and parental involvement.
To qualify for the College Access Subgrants, school districts must provide services to students in grades seven through 12, must have 50 percent or more of enrolled students eligible for free or reduced lunches and must participate in ACT’s Educational Planning and Assessment System (EPAS), a comprehensive testing, guidance and career-planning program developed to strengthen student academic preparation. Additionally, school sites must not be previous recipients of GEAR UP funding during 1999-2005.
For more information on GEAR UP, visit www.okhighered.org/gearup or call 800.858.1840.
Note to Editors: A list of funded program descriptions accompanies this release.
The U.S. Department of Education awarded Oklahoma with state GEAR UP grants totaling $20.5 million in August 1999 and $20.6 million in August 2005. The grants have been matched by more than $47 million from state and partner resources. With the addition of the 2005 multi-year, federal grant, Oklahoma’s GEAR UP program will ultimately receive more than $45.6 million in federal funds by 2011. GEAR UP receives 49 percent of total funding from the federal government and 51 percent from other organizations.