University of Hawaii System newsletter

UH Awarded $3.4 Million to Aid Low-Income Students

Posted on | September 30, 2011 | Comments Off on UH Awarded $3.4 Million to Aid Low-Income Students

The University of Hawaiʻi has been awarded $3.4 million in 2011–12 to increase the number of low-income middle and high school students statewide who are prepared to enter and succeed in post-secondary education through GEAR UP Hawaiʻi, the Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs from the U.S. Department of Education.

The federal GEAR UP program provides seven-year, matching grants to states and partnerships for services that improve access to and success in higher education at high-poverty middle and high schools statewide. GEAR UP Hawaiʻi has been serving Hawaiʻi’s low-income youth since 2000, preparing them for success in college.

“This grant will allow us to continue the important work of GEAR UP in Hawaiʻi. Since 2000, the University of Hawaiʻi and the Hawaiʻi Department of Education have partnered closely together to serve Hawaiʻi’s students, who have benefited from GEAR UP programs that support the transition of students from K–12 through post-secondary education,” says Linda Johnsrud, executive vice president for academic affairs/provost. “GEAR UP Hawaiʻi’s work is aligned to the university’s Hawaiʻi Graduation Initiative, which promotes successful completion of college.”

Hawaiʻi P-20 Partnerships for Education has been responsible for oversight of GEAR UP Hawaiʻi and served as the lead in preparing the grant proposal for this award. GEAR UP in Hawaiʻi will provide services to nearly 21,000 students between 2011 and 2018.

“For the first time the new grant will allow us to serve students into their first year in college, providing them the support they need to successfully transition into postsecondary education,” says Angela Jackson, GEAR UP Project Director of Hawaiʻi P-20.

“These GEAR UP funds have allowed us to campaign for a more rigorous high school diploma to prepare our youth for success, and will allow us to continue working on, and developing new programs to achieve Hawaiʻi P–20’s statewide goal of 55 percent of working age adults having a two- or four-year college degree by 2025,” says Karen Lee, associate vice president and executive director of Hawaiʻi P–20.

Read the news release.