Eastern's GEAR UP team attends 2015 NCCEP GEAR UP Capacity-Building Workshop


WILBURTON (April 17, 2015) - Seven members of the Eastern Oklahoma State College GEAR UP for Success team joined over 1,200 GEAR UP professionals from across the nation at the 2015 Capacity Building Workshop in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

 The Capacity Building Workshop is designed to help new and experienced GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) 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 session was designed to demonstrate the products TI has created for the classroom to enhance STEM education for students. Participants were afforded the experience of hands on learning to simulate the way their students would learn in the same situation.

The pre–CBW evening session, “Connecting to the Big Picture: An Orientation to GEAR UP” helped participants to connect the dots between all of the diverse programs, roles, and unique partnership structures and models that make GEAR UP such a success.

The opening general session began with The Honorable Chaka Fattah, US 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 partners students from low income schools with colleges and universities to help build an education pipeline for students to realize their college dreams.  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.
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; Strategies for First–Year Postsecondary Success; Advancing College Readiness through Effective Programming; and Evaluation Showcase: Findings and Lessons Learned Track. Team members also participated in roundtable discussions including Rural Programs: Success and Challenges; The Coordinators’ Catalyst Network; Closing Gaps in STEM Learning and Careers; Helping GEAR UP Students Earn College Credit in High School; and Partnership Programs.

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

GEAR UP team members attending were Assistant Professional Development Coordinator Stacy Burmeier; Project Office Manager Helen Scott; and Education Coordinators Lori Douglas, Melissa Juarez, Rachael Ranallo, Dara Self and Ron Sullivan.

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

Members of Eastern’s delegation to the 2015 NCCEP GEAR UP Capacity Building Conference were
Front Row: Project Office Manager Helen Scott, Assistant Professional Development Coordinator Stacy Burmeier and Education Coordinators Lori Douglas and Rachael Ranallo.
Back Row: GEAR UP Education Coordinators Melissa Juarez, Ron Sullivan and Dara Self.

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