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September 22, 2014 - Statewide College Preparation Efforts Celebrated During National GEAR UP Week   RSS feed

Media Contact: Amy Bruce
Office: 1.405.225.9281

Oklahoma GEAR UP is celebrating ongoing success in helping students and families prepare for college during National GEAR UP Week, Sept. 22-26. The celebration highlights Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP), a college access program that provides students and their families with college planning resources. Since its inception in 1999, GEAR UP has helped improve educational outcomes for millions of low-income students across the U.S., including thousands of Oklahoma students.

"Oklahoma continues to focus on improving college access and student success in college, and we celebrate those efforts,” said Oklahoma Higher Education Chancellor Glen D. Johnson. “National GEAR UP Week provides a special opportunity to reflect on the excellent progress we have made in student preparation through GEAR UP since 1999.”

During 2013-14, GEAR UP worked directly with 24 school districts and provided statewide college access and information services to 18,666 students. Some of the notable impacts* include:

GEAR UP’s reach is strong and sustainable as the program provides professional training and support for educators, learning and leadership opportunities for students, college planning information for families and mentoring support for students from 7th grade through college.

The statewide GEAR UP grant, administered by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, is one of several GEAR UP programs in Oklahoma. Eastern Oklahoma State College, Seminole State College 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 also encourages families to start planning for college early at

To learn more about the national GEAR UP program, please visit the National Council for Community and Education Partnerships at

For more information about GEAR UP, please visit 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, 2014

The U.S. Department of Education awarded Oklahoma state GEAR UP grants totaling $20.5 million in August 1999, $20.6 million in August 2005 and $34.9 million in September 2011. The grants have been matched by more than $48 million from state and partner resources. From 1999 to 2011, GEAR UP received more than $45.6 million in federal funds. With the addition of the 2011 grant, Oklahoma’s GEAR UP program will ultimately receive more than $80.6 million in federal funds by 2018.