New GEAR UP Grant Awarded for Six Years

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo, Sept. 1, 2005ᾰSoutheast Missouri State University has received a $1.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education for the Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP).

GEAR UP is a federal grant-funded program that partners Southeast with the Caruthersville and Hayti school districts, the Pemiscot Initiative Network and the Boys and Girls Club of Caruthersville to serve sixth and seventh grade students attending the Caruthersville and Hayti School districts.  Students continue participating in the program through high school graduation and enrollment in postsecondary education.

GEAR UP is designed to significantly increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in post-secondary education.  This goal is accomplished through partnerships with area school districts and community agencies in addition to providing direct services to students and parents. 

GEAR UP also works with the Southeast Regional Professional Development Center to provide professional development opportunities for partner school faculty.

This is the second such grant for Southeast and only one of three new grants awarded in Missouri, said Vida Mays, director of pre-collegiate programs at Southeast. The grant proposal was rated highly by peer reviewers because of its potential for significantly increasing the number of low-income youth in the Bootheel who are prepared to attend college, Mays said.