Council on Postsecondary Education
Gov. Beshear, CPE Announce Kentucky Wins $26.9 Million Grant to Support College Readiness
Governor Steve Beshear and the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education today announced Kentucky has received a $26.9 million federal grant award over six years for GEAR UP, or Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs. The grant will support college readiness outreach and strengthen postsecondary partnerships.
GEAR UP Kentucky 3.0 (GUK 3.0) will work with an estimated 30 schools and serve approximately 10,000 students starting in the seventh grade. The Council will announce the final school selections later this month. Direct student services will begin in January 2012.
The Council is one of only 19 states to receive a state GEAR UP award from the U.S. Department of Education.
“This is a huge win for college readiness in Kentucky,” Gov. Beshear said. “Out of the 47 existing GEAR UP states, only 19 states received new awards. We are pleased that Kentucky’s proposal was given a near perfect score with 111 points out of a possible 112.”
This is the third state GEAR UP grant the Council has received. Earlier awards were $10 million and $21 million.
“This GEAR UP grant gives us more ammunition in our arsenal to increase college readiness. We are extremely grateful to have the opportunity to continue the good work,” said Council Senior Vice President Aaron Thompson.
The new grant will support the shared goals of the GEAR UP program, the strategic agenda for postsecondary and adult education, the Unified Strategy for College and Career Readiness, and Senate Bill 1 (2009), Kentucky’s college readiness legislation.
"GEAR UP KENTUCKY 3.0 will bring added resources to help schools accelerate the pace at which all students reach college readiness standards while at the same time provide support to help school personnel put in place those practices that have been proven to be successful in increasing student achievement. The grant will provide resources to work with students and their parents in preparation for college and career opportunities after high school, and continuing education and leadership training for school personnel," said Yvonne Lovell, executive director for GEAR UP Kentucky.
In addition to Kentucky’s state award, Berea College received two GEAR UP partnership awards, totaling more than $10 million annually for six years.
The program helps students achieve at or above grade level standards, understand the college admissions process and graduate from high school prepared for college coursework. Nationally, GEAR UP students apply and enroll in postsecondary education at a higher rate than their peers.
Both state and partnership grants are competitive six-year matching grant programs that serve entire grades of students, partner with local organizations and businesses, and include matching local contributions and in-kind services. Grantees serve an entire cohort of students, usually beginning no later than seventh grade and follow them throughout the grant cycle.
Several state and national organizations will be grant partners. They include the Kentucky Department of Education, Collaborative for Teaching and Learning, Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority, ACT, Princeton Review, School Specialty Planning and Student Development (Premier Products), Lampo Group (Dave Ramsey), University of Louisville and University of Louisville Medical School, University of Kentucky, Western Kentucky University, Morehead State University, Eastern Kentucky University, Kentucky Adult Education and Kentucky Virtual Campus.