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EAC receives $6.7 million grant to fund GEAR UP for seven more years

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EAC receives $6.7 million grant to fund GEAR UP for seven more years

By Lori Dugan

Thatcher, AZ—Eastern Arizona College is a recent, repeat recipient of the Gaining Early Awareness & Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) grant. The grant will provide nearly $6.7 million over the next six years for direct student services.

EAC is one of only 31 colleges or school districts to be funded through this grant out of the 240 that applied. The grant will be used to serve 1,392 high school and junior high school students over the next six years.

EAC’s grants project coordinator, Carter McEuen, says, “What we hope to achieve with the grant is to continue to significantly increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education from Chinle, Fort Thomas, Globe, Miami, Payson, Pima, Safford, San Carlos, and Snowflake Unified School Districts.”

The grant targets the current seventh grade class and will follow them through their graduation from high school in 2020. Through after-school and summer classes, tutoring, enrichment courses and programs, and one-on-one counseling, these students will be better prepared to succeed at the collegiate level. “Our site coordinators will be working individually with students to help them; we want to encourage students to take more challenging classes in high school so they can be better prepared for college,” says McEuen.

The partnering school districts have an enrollment of over 16,200 students living in rural communities that have the highest and most critical poverty rates in the country. “EAC and its GEAR UP partners will work collectively, effectively, and efficiently so the class of 2020 and future classes have the academic preparation, individual commitment, as well as the family and community support needed to succeed in college and careers,” said McEuen.

This ambitious goal will be accomplished by carrying out programs under the umbrella of the three pillars of EAC GEAR UP services: academic interventions; personal responsibility and citizenship; and family, community, and partner engagement.

For more information about the GEAR UP grant, contact McEuen at (928) 428-8275 or by email at