TEA News Releases Online
Sept. 22, 2009
Texas GEAR UP celebrates program accomplishments at state conference
AUSTIN – The Texas GEAR UP project will celebrate the accomplishments of GEAR UP partnerships across the state and nation at its Second Annual Texas GEAR UP State Conference in Houston. The conference begins today and will continue Wednesday morning.
Designed to improve postsecondary awareness, readiness, and access, the Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) initiative is a six-year federal program supporting partnerships between school districts, postsecondary institutions, parents, and business and community groups working to increase support for students and educators.
The event, held at the JW Marriott Hotel at 5150 Westheimer Rd., will include almost 70 presentations by GEAR UP personnel, educators, and parents regarding best practices for improving postsecondary preparation and outcomes for historically underserved students across the state. The agenda will also feature state and national experts on college readiness and access, as well as performances by student musicians from Pasadena Independent School District.
The conference will also provide Texas projects an opportunity to celebrate National GEAR UP Day, commemorating 10 years of success for the transformative GEAR UP program. Since its inception in 1999, GEAR UP has improved educational outcomes for millions of low-income students across the United States. Over the last 10 years, GEAR UP programs in Texas have received almost $300 million in funding.
The conference represents the collaboration of four GEAR UP programs: the Texas Education Agency’s State GEAR UP/STAR Project, Project GRAD Houston/Houston ISD’s “College for All”, Pasadena ISD’s “GEAR UP for Success”, and Spring Branch ISD’s “Spring Woods High School GEAR UP”. The theme of the conference—“College for Y’all”—conveys the desire of the Texas GEAR UP partnerships to work together to help all Texas students succeed.
Currently, 19 GEAR UP projects across the state serve almost 55,000 students on 170 campuses in 89 districts. Partnerships also include 22 institutions of higher education and dozens of community organizations.
The United States Department of Education currently supports GEAR UP projects administered by the following grantees:
• Texas Education Agency, Austin and Corpus Christi, TX
• Amarillo College, Amarillo, TX
• Baylor University, Waco, TX
• Bryan ISD, Bryan, TX
• El Paso Community College, El Paso, TX
• El Paso ISD, El Paso, TX
• Houston ISD, Houston, TX
• Pasadena ISD, Pasadena, TX
• Region One Education Service Center, Edinburg, TX
• San Antonio ISD, San Antonio, TX
• Spring Branch ISD, Spring Branch, TX
• Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches, TX
• Sul Ross State University, Alpine, TX
• Texas A&M International University, Laredo, TX (2)
• The University of Texas–Pan American, Edinburg, TX
• The University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX (2)
• The University of Texas at Tyler, Tyler, TX
Texas GEAR UP aims to improve postsecondary readiness, awareness, and access for students and their families throughout Texas. For more information, please visit www.texasgearup.com.