After receiving a grant from the United States Department of Education in 2005, the College of Eastern Utah has become a partner in the national gaining early awareness and readiness for undergraduate project.
The GEAR UP program is designed to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education.
"Structured to meet the educational needs of Carbon and Emery County's junior and high school students, the GEAR UP program provides opportunities for students to enter college who otherwise might not be able to," said Brad King, vice president for student services and institutional advancement at CEU. "This program is designed for students who have a desire to further their educations."
To participate, students must meet a specific socio-economic level, apply for the program and remain active participants for the duration of high school years. Students participate in educational as well as out-of-school activities to form positive relationships with CEU and the community.
The project is in its initial stages at CEU, with college students and community helpers strengthening the program by working and volunteering as tutors and mentors to the youth. The tutors help students with homework, tests and any in-class struggles in addition to preparing them for the UBSCT and ACT end-of-year tests.
Six schools are participating with CEU. Each school is assigned an on-site liaison to administer the program and recruit students. Each school hosts an open house, giving parents the opportunity to learn more about the program in a more personal setting.
GEAR UP liaisons and CEU's program coordinator Brenda Rawson work to ensure that parents and students are familiar with college application processes for financial aid and scholarships,.
GEAR UP is a national program administrated on a state level. Utah Valley State College is the original state grantee. UVSC divides the funds between colleges to assist students throughout the state.
As a grantee, CEU has the ability to help 120 students from six schools in Carbon and Emery County. For information, Castle Valley residents may contact Rawson at (435) 613-5648.