Eastern Oklahoma State College’s GEAR UP program hosted its annual partnership meeting for area school superintendents, principals, counselors, and lead teachers. More than 95 school representatives met virtually to learn about the current services EOSC GEAR UP is providing to area schools.
Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) is a federal initiative to increase the number of low-income students who enter and successfully transition into postsecondary education. In 2017, Eastern received $17,091,200 to help serve students in partner schools throughout seven years.
Eastern Oklahoma State College’s President Dr. Janet Wansick, welcomed the participants to the virtual meeting. GEAR UP Project Director Dara Self and GEAR UP Assistant Project Director Tara Martin discussed what GEAR UP has been doing to help students and partner schools this academic year, which includes providing access to online tutoring to students through Tutor.com 24 hours a day, seven days a week; the opportunity for 10th-grade teachers to participate in an ACT prep training so that they can provide this service to students; virtual college tours; and purchasing over $194,650 in various technology for schools to assist with virtual learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. EOSC GEAR UP also has made adjustments to ensure all in-person and virtual students receive services during the current academic year.
For every dollar the US Department of Education provides to the grantees, the grantee must match that amount of money through In-Kind time and services, such as lesson planning, academic enrichment, tutoring and mentoring, parent meetings, and community service activities.
The GEAR UP—Ignite Belief program is serving current ninth and 10th-grade students and will continue throughout high school graduation and college admission. The grant currently serves 31 partner schools in nine counties, including Antlers; Atoka; Bokoshe; Buffalo Valley; Cameron; Canadian; Clayton; Coalgate; Crowder; Eufaula; Haileyville; Hartshorne; Howe; Indianola; Keota; LeFlore; McAlester; McCurtain; Moyers; Panama; Pittsburg; Porum; Poteau; Quinton; Rattan; Savanna; Spiro; Stringtown; Whitesboro; Wilburton; and Wister.