Campus: CSU Fullerton -- June 7, 2004

High School Juniors in Home Stretch of Six-Year Program, One in a Series Awarded $1.1 Million by Dept. of Education

More than 560 juniors at Anaheim High School are wrapping up their fifth year of GEAR UP, a Cal State Fullerton program they began at Anaheimís Sycamore Junior High.

GEAR UP, or Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Program, is modeled, in part, after former President Bill Clintonís High Hopes for College proposal that advocated partnerships between colleges and middle schools in low-income communities to help raise expectations and ensure successful college entry.

It is among a series of CSUF programs funded this academic year by the Department of Education, which awarded the university more than $1.1 million ó all to benefit local high school and CSUF students participating in Upward Bound South, GEAR UP, Student Support Services and Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement. The programs strive to facilitate and encourage students to pursue undergraduate and doctoral degrees.

In addition to the GEAR UPís ongoing components of tutoring, plus SAT preparation, writing and mathematics enrichment workshops, coordinators this year introduced Club LEAD, designed to promote participantsí leadership skills. The new component includes visits to at-risk students to encourage them in their studies, as well as involve their parents in their progress.

GEAR UP is following an entire class of students from Sycamore Jr. High through Anaheim High School, from which they are expected to graduate in 2005. The program is in partnership with the Anaheim Union High School District, city of Anaheim and Los Amigos.

Upward Bound gives fundamental support to participants preparing to enter college, with a goal of increasing the rates at which students enroll in and graduate from postsecondary institutions.

The Student Support Services program provides CSUF students opportunities for academic development, assistance with basic college requirements and endeavors to motivate them to successfully complete their undergraduate degrees. The programís goal is to increase retention and graduation rates through such services as mentoring, academic and financial counseling, assistance with securing financial support and tutoring.

Currently in its fifth year at CSUF is the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program. Its goal is to increase the number of graduate degrees earned by students from underrepresented groups. Through the grant, the university prepares students for doctoral studies through involvement in research and other scholarly activities.

Contacts: Silas H. Abrego, (714) 278-3221,
Gail Matsunaga, (714) 278-4851,

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