A new six-year program will begin working with Campbell County’s seventh graders and seniors to ensure they are ready and equipped to excel in college.
GEAR UP, gaining early awareness and readiness for undergraduate programs, will work to shift the education culture in our area.
“The primary goal is to make sure students are prepared to transfer to higher-ed and then within the community with parents and educators that we’re building a college-going culture,” said Troy Grant, director of college access initiatives for the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.
Besides this year’s seventh graders, the program will also work with current seniors. Next year, the program will be the eighth graders and seniors, and so on until today’s seventh graders become freshmen at colleges and universities.
In Campbell County, the seven-year grant will mean $984,847.50 in programs to assist students. Sixteen other Tennessee counties also received various amounts of grant money to implement the programs in their school districts.
Beginning with the second year of the grant, school districts must match 20 percent of the grant, and the match amount increases 20 percent each year until it’s at 100 percent the final two years. The increasing match amount provides for sustainability within the program. The matching portion can be in-kind, in cash or through local partnerships.
Campbell County High School, Elk Valley Elementary, Jacksboro Middle School, Jellico Elementary, Jellico High School, LaFollette Middle School, White Oak Elementary, and Wynn Habersham Elementary will all benefit from the grant.
“The possibilities for economic impact are pretty significant,” Grant said.