Eastern’s GEAR UP team attends 2014 NCCEP/GEAR UP Capacity-Building Workshop


Pictured are (left to right) Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Stephen Glazier, GEAR UP Project Director Linda Morgan, Vice President for Business Affairs LaDonna Howell, GEAR UP Education Coordinators Rachael Ranallo, Nina Barthel and Melissa Juarez.
WILBURTON, OK (Feb. 13, 2014) – Four members of the Eastern Oklahoma State College GEAR UP for Success team and two of Eastern’s vice presidents recently joined more than 1,200 GEAR UP professionals from across the nation at the NCCEP/GEAR UP Capacity–Building Workshop in Orlando, Fla.

The Capacity–Building Workshop (CBW) is designed to help new and experienced GEAR UP professionals effectively meet their project goals and objectives through professional development and strategic planning activities. The workshop is coordinated by the National Council for Community and Education Partnerships (NCCEP) and is planned in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Education.

The delegation attended a pre–CBW partnership event sponsored by Texas Instruments. The half–day networking session was devoted to sharing ideas about student services for the summer of 2014. Participants discussed innovative programs that included STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) student camps and workshops, field trips and professional development for teachers and project facilitators.

The pre–CBW afternoon session, “Optimizing for Success: College and Career Planning Goes Social with ACT” revealed ACT’s development a first–of–its–kind college and career planning platform, “ACT Profile.” Mobile, social and free to the public, ACT Profile provides students and counselors with a powerful tool to derive the insights they need to make smarter decisions throughout life’s key transition points.

The opening general session began with The Honorable Chaka Fattah, U.S. House of Representatives (PA–2) addressing the audience. Congressman Fattah is the architect of GEAR UP early college awareness program. The GEAR UP initiative was passed by Congress in 1998, to help disadvantaged middle school students prepare for college.

GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) partners students from low-income schools with colleges and universities to help build an education pipeline for students to realize their college dreams. Since its inception, GEAR UP has served more than 12 million students in 49 states, the District of Columbia and three territories. Almost $4 billion in federal funds has been appropriated to the GEAR UP program. Policy experts point to GEAR UP as one of the most innovative educational programs on record. GEAR UP serves as an international model to aid underserved students in their preparation and pursuit of a college education.

Congressman Fattah challenged the audience, “Don’t let them escape their responsibility to be their very best.”

James Davis, Director of GEAR UP, TRIO Talent Search, and College Access and Challenge Grants and NCCEP Executive Director Nathan R. Monell, CAE, addressed the audience throughout the conference.

Attendees from across the nation met to hone their grant implementation practices. In addition to the numerous workshops, opportunities were available for networking with colleagues.

Team members selected various workshop tracks to attend including “GEAR UP 101,” “GEAR UP Grant Management,” “Serving the Whole Student,” and “The Directors’ Network.” Team members also participated in roundtable discussions including “Rural Programs: Success and Challenges and Partnership Program Issues.”

Eastern’s GEAR UP Director Linda Morgan presented “Don’t Recreate the Wheel—Beg, Borrow and Steal from Your Colleagues” during the GEAR UP 101 track. She also led the roundtable discussion, “Partnership Program Issues.”

The Eastern team also attended “Documenting the Match” and the “Annual Performance Report.”

Morgan also attended the NCCEP/GEAR UP Advisory (GUAC) Commission meeting. She is serving a three–year term on the commission.

GEAR UP team members attending were Project Director Linda Morgan and Education Coordinators Nina Barthel, Melissa Juarez and Rachael Ranallo. Eastern’s Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Stephen Glazier and Vice President for Business Affairs LaDonna Howell also attended.

In 2011, Eastern received a seven–year, $12.6 million federal GEAR UP grant and is in its second year of implementation.

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