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Oklahoma GEAR UP Partnership Helps Caney Valley Students Better Prepare for College



For Immediate Release                                                                                             Contact: Amy Bruce

Sept. 22, 2015                                                                                                                         405.225.9281


Oklahoma GEAR UP Partnership Helps Caney Valley Students Better Prepare for College


Oklahoma GEAR UP is celebrating ongoing success in helping Caney Valley students and families prepare for college during National GEAR UP Week, Sept. 21-25. The celebration highlights Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP), a college access program funded through the U.S. Department of Education.

Oklahoma GEAR UP is administered by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education. Since 1999, Oklahoma has received three consecutive, multi-year, statewide GEAR UP grants and has helped improve educational outcomes for thousands of Oklahoma students.

 “GEAR UP helps students and families by improving awareness of college opportunities and by making it easier for students to access and enroll in college,” said Oklahoma Higher Education Chancellor Glen D. Johnson. “Students learn the steps they need to apply to college, pay for college, and succeed in college. National GEAR UP Week presents a special opportunity to pause and reflect on the excellent progress we are making in student preparation with the help of our GEAR UP program.”

As partners, GEAR UP and Caney Valley Public Schools work together to motivate and prepare students to enter and succeed in college.  During the 2014-15 school year, GEAR UP helped provide early intervention services and strategies for approximately 320 Caney Valley students in grades seven through 12. Some of the impacts* include:

  • < > parents participated in college planning and financial aid workshops.< > students toured a college campus to learn about academic programs and campus life.< > students received academic tutoring or mentoring.

    29 educators attended GEAR UP professional training in areas such as school leadership, school data analysis and curriculum planning, advanced science and math teaching strategies, creating a college going culture, counseling for college readiness, working with students from special populations and more.

  • 69 students received financial aid information that provided guidance on how to apply for financial aid such as Oklahoma’s Promise, completing the FAFSA, community scholarship and other financial aid programs.

  • 105 students participated in an ACT prep course.

  • 44 high school juniors took a free ACT exam provided by Oklahoma GEAR UP.

  • < > high school seniors took the ACT exam.

    39 students in 8th, 9th or 10th grade enrolled in Oklahoma’s Promise

  • 5 high school juniors/seniors participated in concurrent enrollment, earning college credit while in high school.

  • < > high school seniors participated in College App Week last November and completed college admission applications with the assistance of onsite college mentors.< > students attended rookie camp or back to school sessions that helped them transition with confidence to high school or middle school.

    8 high school seniors graduating in 2015 attended a freshman bridge program at a college or university to help ease the transition from high school to college.

    Investing in students is a great way to improve and sustain the local community. Data provided by the National Council on Community and Education Partnerships shows that the federal investment in each GEAR UP student is about $500 for a total of $3,000 over six years. This investment is returned to the community (with interest) throughout the student's lifetime as she or he leaves the program more able to earn a livable wage, pay higher taxes and be an engaged citizen.

    The statewide GEAR UP grant is one of several GEAR UP programs in Oklahoma. Eastern Oklahoma State College, Seminole State College, University of Central Oklahoma and the University of Oklahoma K-20 Center also have GEAR UP partnership grants that serve students in their specific geographic areas.

    GEAR UP goes beyond the classroom, encouraging community and parental involvement that helps school districts create and sustain a college going culture. Through awareness activities and services, the grant helps promote Oklahoma’s Promise, the state scholarship program, and encourages families to start planning for college early at OKcollegestart.org.  Learn more at okgearup.org or follow us on Facebook or Twitter under Oklahoma GEAR UP.


Special Note:
Oklahoma GEAR UP School Districts include: Ardmore City Schools, Caney Valley Public Schools, Catoosa Public Schools, Checotah Public Schools, Davis Public Schools, Duncan Public Schools, Elk City Public Schools, Guymon Public Schools, Harrah Public Schools, Henryetta Public Schools, Hobart Public Schools, Kingston Public Schools, Little Axe Public Schools, Luther Public Schools, Madill Public Schools, Marietta Public Schools, McLoud Public Schools, Newkirk Public Schools, Okmulgee Public Schools, Roland Public Schools, Sapulpa Public Schools, Stilwell Public Schools, Tecumseh Public Schools, and Woodward Public Schools.
*Data based on most recent information reported by 24 GEAR UP School Districts as of Sept. 1, 2015.

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