TEA News Releases Online
Nov. 9, 2010
Texas GEAR UP celebrates program accomplishments at state conference
AUSTIN – The Texas GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) project will celebrate the accomplishments of GEAR UP partnerships across the state and nation at its Third Annual Texas GEAR UP State Conference in Corpus Christi. The conference begins today and will continue through Wednesday morning.
Designed to improve postsecondary awareness, readiness, and access, the 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 Omni Bayfront and Marina Hotels, 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 issues, as well as performances and presentations by students from Alice Independent School District (ISD), Brooks County ISD, Corpus Christi ISD, Kingsville ISD, Mathis ISD, and Odem-Edroy ISD.
The theme of the conference—Navigating to College Success—highlights the fact that postsecondary readiness is not a destination, but a challenging journey, and it celebrates the commitment of the GEAR UP partnerships across the state to support students and families along the path to college success. More than 400 GEAR UP professionals and participants are expected to attend.
Additionally, the conference will provide Texas projects the opportunity to recognize student winners from the statewide essay contest entitled Tell Us Your Story, GEAR UP! Held in conjunction with the 2010 National GEAR UP Day, the contest asked students to create a personal essay discussing the impact of GEAR UP on their decision to pursue postsecondary education. Each participating GEAR UP project has selected a single student to attend the conference and be included in an essay book distributed by Texas GEAR UP. The student winners will also have the unique opportunity to meet with representatives from the Freedom Writers Foundation and discuss the impact writing and creative expression can have on a student’s future.
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. 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
- Amarillo College, Amarillo
- Baylor University, Waco
- Bryan ISD, Bryan
- El Paso Community College, El Paso
- El Paso ISD, El Paso
- Houston ISD, Houston
- Pasadena ISD, Pasadena
- Region One Education Service Center, Edinburg
- San Antonio ISD, San Antonio
- Spring Branch ISD, Spring Branch
- Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches
- Sul Ross State University, Alpine
- Texas A&M International University, Laredo (2)
- The University of Texas–Pan American, Edinburg
- The University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso (2)
- The University of Texas at Tyler, Tyler
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.