May 15, 2006 :: GEAR UP Subgrants Strengthen College Access at Community Level
Media Contact: Amy Bruce
Oklahoma GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) has awarded subgrants totaling $595,752 to 24 school districts and sites to initiate successful education strategies that improve college access and preparation at local levels, the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education announced recently.
GEAR UP, a federally funded program administered by the State Regents, 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.
GEAR UP College Access Subgrants range from $21,536 to $25,000 and 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.
“We are extremely pleased that so many Oklahoma schools will have an opportunity through GEAR UP College Access Subgrants to adopt additional successful learning strategies at their sites,” said Chancellor Paul G. Risser. “Research has demonstrated that these methods are effective in helping teachers better prepare students for college and for success in life.”
The 2006 recipients are the first College Access Subgrants to be awarded. Additional grants will be awarded annually through 2011.
The 2006 recipients include: Achille Public Schools; Altus Junior High School; Altus High School; Booker T. Washington High School, Tulsa; Carver Middle School, Tulsa; Chouteau-Mazie Public Schools; Crescent Public Schools; Daniel Webster High School, Tulsa; East Central High School, Tulsa; El Reno Public Schools; Fargo Public Schools; Fort Towson Public Schools; Grove High School; Hammon Public Schools; Heavener Public Schools; Pawhuska Public Schools; Poteau Public Schools; Ryan Public Schools; Sand Springs Public Schools; Sentinel Public Schools; Tushka Public Schools; Valliant Public Schools; Vici Public Schools; and Warner Public Schools.
Subgrant recipients must adopt at least two of four research-based, student-intervention programs at their sites. These programs help teachers better understand how different students learn. They include:
- Dr. Ruby Payne’s A Framework for Understanding Poverty – This program trains teachers in strategies for supporting children and parents who live in poverty. The strategies are used in the classroom and help enhance student academic achievement.
- Thinking Maps – This program trains teachers to use “visual thinking tools” in the classroom. Eight Thinking Maps can be used across subject areas and grades. They serve as strategies students can use to process, recall and use information in a demanding curriculum.
- USA Today Education – This program brings the USA Today newspaper to the classroom. USA Today trains teachers in reading strategies to use across the curriculum while using a current events tool.
- LOGIC Professional Development – This sequence of workshops is designed to provide 12 days of intensive professional development that focuses on educational leadership, guidance and curriculum. The training is designed for school leadership teams committed to creating a culture of high expectations.
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 – OHLAP, the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program; tutoring; mentoring; after-school and Saturday programs; summer programs; college awareness counseling; financial aid counseling and parental involvement.
“GEAR UP has been successful since 1999 in helping Oklahoma students better prepare for college because it involves partners with impact at the local level,” said State Regents’ Chairman Cheryl P. Hunter. “Students are more likely to respond to information coming from local sources they know and trust and these subgrants help the school, community and college partners reach the students more effectively.”
To qualify for the College Access Subgrants, school districts must provide services to students in grades seven-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.
View list of funded program descriptions here. (PDF, 68K)