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EAC receives $4.1 million “GEAR-UP” grant

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EAC receives $4.1 million “GEAR-UP” grant

By Jeanné Clark

THATCHER, AZ—Eastern Arizona College is a recent recipient of the GEAR-UP (Gaining Early Awareness & Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) grant, in the amount of $4.1 million. EAC is one of only 39 colleges to be funded through this grant out of the 231 that applied. The grant will be used to serve 865 high school and junior high school students over the next seven years.

EAC’s grants project coordinator, Eldon Woodall, says, “What we hope to achieve with the grant is to significantly increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in post-secondary education.”

The plan is for the grant to target the current seventh grade class and will follow them through their graduation from high school in 2014. 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 counselors 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 Woodall.

The schools that will be educational partners in this program are Diné College, Chinle Unified School District, Clifton Unified School District, Fort Thomas Unified School District, Gila Regional School District, Miami Unified School District, Payson Unified School District, Red Mesa Unified School District, and San Carlos Unified School District. In addition, a portion of the grant money will be utilized to provide over $153,000 in scholarships to students attending Eastern Arizona College and Diné College.

Fifty percent of the total cost of the program will be financed with Federal money, and the remaining funded by non-governmental sources.