Campus: CSU Systemwide -- August 26, 2005
State Schools Chief O'Connell Congratulates Winners of Grants
to Help Schools Prepare Poor Students for College
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell today congratulated
several California educational institutions for being awarded more than $195 million
in Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP)
GEAR UP is a U.S. Department of Education program designed to help low-income
middle school students enter and succeed in higher education. A list of the
grantees is attached below.
"These much-needed funds come at a critical time when state budget cuts are
affecting the students who need the most help," said O'Connell. "These funds will
help kids meet California's high academic standards so they will be successful in
school or the workplace without the need for remedial courses."
The grantees will receive the funds over a six-year period. The state grant is
administered by the University of California and represents a collaboration among
the California Department of Education, representing pre K-12; Association of
Independent California Colleges and Universities; California Community Colleges;
California State University; University of California; and the California Postsecondary
Education Commission. The California Education Round Table endorses and will
oversee this state GEAR UP grant. The Round Table is made up of the chief executive
officers of these organizations. The state's GEAR UP grant supports services to
all California middle schools. Local grants are also for partnerships of K-12 and
postsecondary education and focus on specific schools.
"The California State University joins the education community in full support of
the GEAR UP program, which is vital to preparing underrepresented students for
college, encouraging persistence and ultimately graduation," said California State
University Chancellor Charles B. Reed. "Skills gained through this program will
reduce the need for remediation, saving students and institutions time and money.
This is a program we can all be proud of for what it does for students."
"I am delighted that the federal government has renewed this critical funding to
encourage more young people to have high expectations, stay in school, study hard,
and take the right courses to stay on track for college," said UC President Robert
C. Dynes. "I also very much appreciate the partnership among all segments of
California education that advocated for and helped produce this positive outcome."
GEAR UP was authorized in Section 403 of the Higher Education Amendments of 1998.
The initiative is designed to give more low-income students the skills, encouragement,
and preparation needed to pursue higher education. GEAR UP focuses on middle
schools, where California's educational system is showing slow but steady improvement.
The program also provides training and development opportunities for educators,
teachers, counselors, and families of middle school students, who provide critically
needed support to help students succeed. GEAR UP's unique features give California
the opportunity to make changes in schools rather than simply prepare individual
students for college. Schools and communities work together to create a
college-going culture and emphasize that all students master the state's academic
O'Connell also convened the Superintendent's California P-16 Council last year to
increase academic rigor in preschool through grade twelve to better prepare students
for college or the workplace, and to help ease students' transition between
preschool, elementary, middle, high school, and college.
For more information about GEAR UP, please visit
For more information on the P-16 Council, please visit
CDE Contact: Tina Jung, 916-319-0818,