GEAR UP Grant Submitted

The GEAR UP Program is a critical component of the U.S. Department of Education’s efforts to improve college access and completion for students who have been traditionally underrepresented in postsecondary education.

The Department believes that GEAR UP projects can play an essential role in improving postsecondary outcomes of their participants by placing a greater emphasis on increasing readiness for success once students reach the postsecondary level.

WPPS has teamed up with WCPSS to apply for this year’s award.

The WPPS will work collaboratively with the Cooperating Raleigh Colleges (CRC) and each of the partner institutions of higher education to provide GEAR-UP graduates who enroll in our partner institutions with research-based supplemental academic support and academic enrichment experiences to promote first-year retention and completion.  The Cooperating Raleigh Colleges is a nonprofit consortium established in that promotes collaboration among higher education institutions in Raleigh, NC and with the Wake County community.  The six partner institutions are NC State University, Wake Technical Community College, Shaw University, Peace University, Saint Augustine’s University, and Meredith College.  The six partner institutions of higher education include two private HBCUs, one community college, one women’s university, one private four-year co-ed university, and one research-intensive, doctoral granting state university. The CRC Board of Directors is composed of the presidents and chancellor of the member colleges and universities, chairs of the three key administrative committees, and the organization’s director.  Current CRC activities include:

  • Cross registration and shared resources for students enrolled on the six campuses
  • Professional development for administration and faculty across the campuses
  • Sharing of resources (e.g. economic impact study, study abroad resources, faculty sharing)
  • Administrator and programmer of Raleigh’s public access education channel (18) through the City of Raleigh’s franchise with Time Warner Cable
  • Outreach to the community (e.g. student and staff community service, internships, community experts)
  • Student and staff leadership development
  • Connecting the campuses to governmental, business and community leaders

Six partner institutions of higher education (IHEs) will offer GEAR UP graduates who enroll in their institutions a supplemental first-year college success program called The Wake Scholars.  Gear Up students who enroll in these six partner IHEs will be expected to participate in the Wake Scholars Program.  The Wake Scholars Program will provide GEAR UP students in their first year of college with evidence-based experiences to promote first-year persistence and completion. The Wake Scholars program at each IHE will offer at least two or more activities in each of the following five areas:

  1. Financial Assistance Advising/Support

– Strategic financial aid package

– Scholarships/grants

– On-Campus employment

– Financial management counseling/education

  1. Summer Transition to College

– Summer College courses prior to Fall enrollment

– Summer Bridge/Orientation

– Wake Scholars Campus Welcoming/Orientation

  1. Academic Advising/Academic Support

– Academic and Study Skills Training (e.g. 4.0 Academic Bootcamp)

– Pathway to Graduation (Personal Roadmap to Graduation)

– Career Counseling (Linking academic program to future careers)

– Tutoring

– Structured Supplemental Instruction

– Collaborative Study Support (near-peer group study sessions

– Undergraduate research experience

  1. Mentoring/Campus and Interpersonal Connections

– Living and Learning Village (residential life-based academic programming)

– Faculty/Staff Mentor

– Near-peer mentoring

– Involvement in Student Organization

  1. Leadership Development

– Leadership development workshops or seminars

– Professional networking

– Developing a leadership portfolio

– Self-efficacy and personal reflection workshop (e.g. Strengths Finder)

– Entrepreneurship workshops or seminars

Each of the six partner campuses will agree to provide GEAR UP graduates who enroll on their campus with the opportunity to participate in two or more program activities in each of the five categories.  The number and exact nature of the activities will vary on each campus, but the activities offered must serve the same research-based objectives that have been shown to promote first-year student retention and academic success.  To encourage cross-campus connections, increase program efficiencies, and create a broader community of Wake Scholars, the campuses will also be encouraged to partner for some of the programming.  For example, Wake Scholars from several or all the partner campuses may participate in a leadership workshop hosted on one campus, but presented collaboratively by staff from multiple partnering IHEs.


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