November 7, 2002
Contact: Jeanie-Marie Price, 503-725-3773
45,000 Oregon Students Get College Boost from GEAR UP Grant
Portland, Ore. - Oregon high school and middle school students in 11 counties and 13 separate school districts
will be eligible to receive assistance and financial support in going to college under a new five-year grant awarded
to the Oregon University System (OUS).
The grant, from the U.S. Department of Education, will provide $12.5 million in funding over a five-year period
to establish a GEAR UP program in the state. In addition to the substantial federal support, Oregon partners are
also contributing over $13 million of in-kind support. GEAR UP is an acronym for Gaining Early Awareness &
Readiness for Undergraduate Programs. Oregon GEAR UP will be a partnership among OUS, the Oregon Department of
Education (ODE) and the Oregon Student Assistance Commission (OSAC).
According to OUS Chancellor Richard Jarvis, "Oregon's public universities are excited about this important opportunity
to collaborate with many partners in helping Oregon students prepare for and succeed in college." GEAR UP is designed
to improve student learning and success. It extends and complements current OUS efforts in student success and
learning through the innovative Proficiency-based Admission Standards System (PASS) admission process and teacher
training through the Oregon Quality Assurance in Teaching Program.
A broad coalition of Oregon community, professional and educational agencies will be involved in grant activities
to provide support and guidance. Jeff Svejcar, OSAC Executive Director, noted "OSAC will build on its strong partnership
with the Oregon Community Foundation in an effort to raise significant matching dollars from private donors and
foundations for additional scholarships for GEAR UP student participants."
Under the Oregon GEAR UP, students in economically disadvantaged communities will be targeted for special assistance
in preparing for college. The grant will support teacher development, help students improve readiness for college,
and provide $6.25 million in scholarship support for qualified students.
In addition, the seven universities of the Oregon University System will work directly with the participating schools
to build on existing statewide educational programs and to coordinate admission and financial aid assistance.
Other partners in the project include The College Board; ACT; OSAC's ASPIRE Program; the Governor's Office; Oregon
Department of Community Colleges and Workforce Development; Confederation of Oregon School Administrators; Oregon
Business Council; Oregon Education Association; Mathematics, Engineering & Science Achievement (MESA); and
Science & Mathematics Initiative for Learning Enhancement (SMILE).
Schools and communities involved include:
||- Lorna Byrne Middle School, Illinois Valley High School
||- Sunset Middle School, Marshfield High School
||- Eagle Point Middle School, Eagle Point High School
||- Armand Larvie Middle School, Hermiston High School
||- Talmadge Middle School, Central High School
||- Jefferson County Middle School, Madras High School
||- Patton Middle School, McMinnville High School
||- Westridge Middle School, Oakridge High School
||- Binsmead Middle School, Marshall High School; George Middle School, Roosevelt High
School; Whiteaker Middle School, Madison High School
|| - Parrish Middle School, North Salem High School; Stephens Middle School, Waldo Middle
School, McKay High School,
|| - Hamlin Middle School, Springfield Middle School, Springfield
|| - French Praire Middle School, Valor Middle School, Woodburn