Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that the U.S. Department of Education has awarded Connecticut a seven-year, $31.5 million Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Program (GEAR UP) grant to improve college access and readiness for Connecticut's students.
The funding will be used to significantly increase the number of low-income students prepared to enter and succeed in post-secondary education, and to provide scholarships for eligible high school seniors. The Connecticut state GEAR UP project will serve 3,000 students attending 12 middle schools in East Hartford, New Haven and Waterbury through 2019, and will follow these students though middle school, high school and their first year of college.
"We need to better understand and break down the barriers Connecticut's students face when they are preparing for higher education," said Gov. Malloy. "Access to higher education is critical not only for these students' own future personal success, but for Connecticut's future economic success as well."
GEAR UP in Connecticut is a partnership between the Connecticut Board of Regents for Higher Education (BOR), three higher education institutions in the state -- Manchester Community College (MCC), Naugatuck Valley Community College (NVCC) and Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) -- and their local school districts. The colleges and universities, collaborating with the local school districts, will develop, provide and evaluate services to students, parents and teachers in order to fit localized needs and specific provider strengths.
"Innovative GEAR UP programs that intervene early give students the opportunity to determine if they are ready for college and can make all the difference in whether they attend college," said BOR President Robert A. Kennedy. "These grants provide the mentoring and support that gives thousands of students a chance to achieve academic success in postsecondary education."
IHE partners will work with students in East Hartford, Waterbury and New Haven, and the participating IHE partners and schools are:
Manchester Community College -- East Hartford, 7th graders
East Hartford Middle School
Naugatuck Valley Community College --Waterbury, 6th and 7th graders
Michael F. Wallace Middle School
North End Middle School
West Side Middle School
Southern Connecticut State University -- New Haven, 7th graders
Augusta Lewis Troup School
Brennan Rogers School of Communications and Media
Celentano Museum Academy
King-Robinson Inter-District Magnet School
L.W. Beecher Museum School of Arts & Sciences
Mauro-Sheridan Science, Technology and Communications School
Grant funds represent about 42% of the total program budget, and about 3%, or about $2.5 million, is from private partners.