October 7, 2011


Media Contact:
Veronique Masterson
Public Information Officer
The University of Texas at El Paso


GEAR UP Gets a Leg Up With $19 Million Grant

The United States Department of Education has awarded The University of Texas at El Paso nearly nearly $19 million for El Paso’s Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP). The funding will be awarded over seven years.

Since 2005, The University of Texas at El Paso has served as El Paso’s GEAR UP partner school. GEAR UP is designed to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in post-secondary education.

Recipients of the competitive GEAR UP grants must include in their programs both an early intervention component designed to increase college attendance and success and raise the expectations of low-income students, as well as a scholarship component.

“I welcome this opportunity to serve 3,390 seventh grade students within the Socorro ISD,” said Juliette Caire, UTEP’s GEAR UP program director. “The funding will allow for building capacity within the community to ensure our students will graduate at high academic readiness levels, enroll in college, and successfully complete all required freshman year college-level courses.”

GEAR UP grantees serve an entire cohort of students beginning no later than the seventh grade and follow the cohort through high school. The program’s funds also are used to provide college scholarships to low-income students.

“We are committed to developing a model program, with the support of key local, regional and national partners, that will build momentum for best practices and sustainability for not only the El Paso region but for replication in other at-risk communities across the country,” Caire said.

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