Oct. 25, 2012/High School Seniors Encouraged to Apply to College During Oklahoma's First College App Week
High school seniors at Oklahoma GEAR UP's 24 partner school districts will have a unique opportunity to submit applications to college with the support of knowledgeable volunteers during a college application event Oct.29-Nov.2.
Each district will host their own event as part of Oklahoma’s inaugural College App Week, a project of Oklahoma GEAR UP.
GEAR UP, a federal grant program administered by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, is piloting College App Week in 24 school districts across the state during October and November. The primary goal is to get more senior students, especially those who haven’t considered attending college and those from first generation college families, to apply and establish relationships with colleges and universities that will hopefully lead to enrollment.
“We are excited about this special opportunity for high school seniors,” said Chancellor Glen D. Johnson. “College App Week is a national initiative that has achieved tremendous success in other states and we hope to see the same success in Oklahoma and expand this initiative to even more high schools in our state next year. We look forward to seeing the number of students who apply and enroll in college increase because of this program’s capability to connect students with campuses that match their personal goals and needs. ”
During College App Week, schools select a convenient time for seniors to sit down in front of a computer and apply to college. Volunteers from the community, local businesses, colleges, universities and other supportive organizations are on site and assist the students with any questions during the process.
Prior to College App Week, high school seniors and their families receive materials that help them research possible college options and plan for application questions before the event. In support of the event, schools will often promote college as the next step after high school through all grade levels and encourage students to think about higher education through special events and activities like “wear your favorite college t-shirt day.”
Teachers are encouraged to participate by decorating their classroom doors with college materials that encourage students to ask questions about their teacher’s collegiate experience. Local door contest winners then compete against 24 GEAR UP schools for cash prizes to be used for school supplies.
Oklahoma GEAR UP was selected to pilot College App Week in 2012 because of its successful work within 24 school districts on early intervention strategies designed to better prepare students for college. Along with the State Regents, College App Week is supported by Oklahoma Secretary of Education Phyllis Hudecki, the Oklahoma State Chamber, the Oklahoma State Department of Education and nationally by the Lumina Foundation, Kresge Foundation, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for the American Council on Education. Several college and universities are also participating in College App Week this fall, including East Central University, Ada; Murray State College, Tishomingo; Oklahoma State University, Stillwater; Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology, Okmulgee; and Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Durant.
For more information about College App Week or GEAR UP, please visit OKhighered.org/gearup or call 800.858.1840.