WHAT IS GEAR UP?
GEAR UP is a grant program designed to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. GEAR UP provides six-year grants to states and partnerships to provide services at high-poverty middle and high schools. GEAR UP grantees serve an entire cohort of students beginning no later than the seventh grade and follow the cohort through high school. GEAR UP funds are also used to provide college scholarships to low-income students.
NO, REALLY, WHAT IS GEAR UP?
Here are the Frequently Asked Questions
What does GEAR UP stand for?
GEAR UP stands for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs. GEAR UP for a Brighter Tomorrow is the name of the grant written by Eastern Oklahoma State College and is designed to meet the needs of low-income, underserved, and underrepresented students in 23 geographically isolated, rural schools located in five southeastern counties within the Choctaw Nation.
How are partners selected to participate in a GEAR UP grant?
By statute, Partnerships using a school based cohort design must serve all the students in a particular grade level(s) at the participating school(s) that has a 7th grade and in which at least 50 percent of the students are eligible for free or reduced price lunch under the National School Lunch Act. The applicants in the Eastern Oklahoma State grant were required to submit documentation on student eligibility for free or reduce price lunch as well as various school, student, and parent surveys. Participants were selected on a first come, first served basis. Community partners were also solicited to donate goods and services to support the project.
Who are the students involved in Easterns GEAR UP for a Brighter Tomorrow?
In 200-2010, Eastern's grant targets 9th and 10th grade students at Antlers, Bokoshe, Buffalo Valley, Canadian, Clayton, Crowder, Haileyville*, Hartshorne*, Indianola, Keota, Kiowa, LeFlore, McAlester*, McCurtain, Moyers, Panola, Pittsburg, Quinton, Rattan*, Red Oak, , Talihina*, Whitesboro, and Wilburton. The 23 schools have an average of 78% eligibility for free or reduced price lunch. The cohort is made of 1,412 students with at least 45% being American Indians. In the past, only 40.2% of graduates from Partner schools pursued postsecondary education. *Only includes 10th grade students
How is the grant funded?
Eastern was awarded a $6,777,600 GEAR UP for a Brighter Tomorrow grant over a six-year period. In addition to the federal funding from the Department of Education, a dollar-for-dollar matching requirement exists. This means that GEAR UP staff, school staff, community Partners, and volunteers must match $1,129,600 in time and effort or in kind donations each year.
What are the expected outcomes of GEAR UP for a Brighter Tomorrow?
Grant objectives include to increase student academic performance, increase high school graduation rates, increase completion of postsecondary education, improve opportunities for teacher professional development, and improve parental involvement. Ultimately, the project will foster long-term and systemic change by creating a positive and pervasive culture for learning for underresourced schools.
What services will be provided to achieve the goals of the grant?
Services include tutoring, mentoring, career planning and advisement for students and parents, summer camps, college financial aid workshops, ACT test preparation, ongoing professional development for teachers, computer literacy training, field trips, and a 21st Century Scholar Certificate Awards Event.