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Citadel News Service
31 Aug 2005

GEAR UP gets $1 million grant

The Citadel’s GEAR UP program has been awarded a six-year $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to help prepare at-risk students prepare for college.

GEAR UP, short for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, has been on The Citadel campus since 1999, first as a joint program of the college’s School of Education and the S.C. Commission on Higher Education. The new grant is a partnership between The Citadel, R.D. Schroder Middle School in Hollywood and the U.S. Department of Education.

“It is always a pleasure to be the recipient of good news, but to know that news will allow you to continue to provide opportunities to young students who are preparing themselves for higher education is exceptionally good news for The Citadel and The School of Education,” said Wendell Rodgers, director of the GEAR UP program.

At $178,000 a year, the partnership grant will provide services, activities and training for students, teachers and parents – all aimed at preparing students from low-income families in rural settings for college, helping teachers boost their skills through innovative teaching methods, and educating parents on ways to help their child succeed in school and later college. Schroder Middle has about 300 students in grades 6-8.

The GEAR UP program gives students encouragement and support to help them graduate from high school and it provides assistance in applying to an appropriate post-secondary education. The curriculum will have two focuses of academic content and academic support. In addition, it will provide studying and test taking skills for students as they advance from 7th grade to grade 12.

“The opportunity to partner with the U.S. Department of Education to offer services to the students, parents, and teachers at Schroder Middle School is quite an honor,” said Stephenie Hewitt, associate professor in the School of Education. “I am proud that The Citadel is able to maintain its status as a GEAR UP institution.”

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