Syracuse University receives $8 million grant for GEAR UP programs
Syracuse University receives $8 million grant for GEAR UP programsOctober 17, 2006Sara Millersemortim@syr.edu
The U.S. Department of Education has awarded Syracuse University a six-year, $8 million partnership grant to expand and continue projects through New York’s Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (NYGEAR UP). SU’s participation in GEAR UP — Syracuse GEAR UP — is a collaborative effort between the University and the Syracuse City School District designed to increase the graduation rate and college attendance of students from 16 schools in Syracuse. Beginning in the seventh grade and continuing through high school, Syracuse GEAR UP provides disadvantaged, at-risk students with expanded summer school opportunities and school-year college preparation.
The Department of Education awarded 27 six-year federal GEAR UP Partnership grants for 2006-12. SU was awarded $1,376,000 each year for the next six years, totaling $8,256,000, the third-highest award in the country.
Additionally, Syracuse GEAR UP this summer received $567,000 annually for six years from New York State, funded from the Higher Education Services Corp. (HESC), which was the largest grant award in the state.
“Syracuse University is very proud to be selected for this grant from the Department of Education, which will provide greater hands-on learning opportunities for more Syracuse City School students through GEAR UP,” says SU Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor. “We see the greatest impact from pipeline programs such as GEAR UP when there is collaboration across different sectors — education, not-for-profits, business and government — that focuses on both the curriculum that students need to learn to prepare for college and careers, and the support that students need to fulfill their dreams of attending college.”
Some of the Syracuse GEAR UP programs that benefit from this grant are Saturday Math Academies at the middle schools, which offer academic support and mentoring; Summer College, which provides opportunities for high school students at SU and Le Moyne College to earn college credit and explore career interests; and the SU Mentor Program, which trains SU students to work with GEAR UP participants to promote social, cultural and academic growth.
This year, Syracuse GEAR UP will follow seventh-grade students at 11 SCSD middle schools through graduation from high school at Corcoran, Henninger, Fowler, Nottingham and Central Technical high schools. More than 1,800 seventh-grade students will be part of this pipeline program, thanks to the new federal funding.
“We know the solution to increasing high school achievement and reducing the dropout rate is two fold — start early and support students over a long period of time. GEAR UP does both,” says SCSD Superintendent Daniel G. Lowengard. “This is another example of the University’s willingness to support all the children in this community.”
“The GEAR UP program is but another effort by the federal government to support local education needs,” says U.S. Rep. James T. Walsh. “This funding will impact 1,800 Syracuse City School students as they progress through junior and senior high school. Syracuse GEAR UP partners should be very proud of their strong proposal, deemed worthy of multi-year federal funding.”
Syracuse GEAR UP is also aligned with community agencies and business partnerships. The community agencies have been provided technology for these sites to be used by GEAR UP students and families for study and career/college search. Business partners and post-secondary institutions include SUNY Upstate Medical University, Le Moyne College, Onondaga Community College and Partners for Education and Business, a consortium of more than 100 local employers in Central New York, all serving students in their college and career search.
Syracuse GEAR UP (http://studentsupport.syr.edu/gearup/gearup.html) is a unit within SU’s Division of Student Support and Retention, which works to enhance student success through student-centered programs, services and assessment.
HESC is the state agency that has been designated by Gov. George E. Pataki to administer the NYGEAR UP program. HESC helps people pay for college by providing a range of financial aid services, including the Tuition Assistance Program, student loan guarantees and administering New York’s College Savings Program.