The Tennessee Higher Education commission announced Wednesday that Bradley County Schools is the recipient of a $846,300 grant over the next seven years to provide services to students and families with the aim of increasing enrollment and success in postsecondary education.
The funding is through Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP), a U.S. Department of Education grant program to increase the number of low-income students enrolling and succeeding in postsecondary education.
The Tennessee Higher Education Commission secured the state grant for GEAR UP TN and selected sites through a competitive application process. Bradley County Schools is one of 16 counties receiving funds.
"The GEAR UP TN Grant will provide much needed support and resources for our students as we strive to prepare them to be college and career ready," said Johnny McDaniel, Director of Bradley County Schools. "It will also help us foster the hopes and dreams of our students and their families beyond high school. We believe all students deserve access to post secondary education. We are excited about the opportunities the GEAR UP TN grant will provide for our students."
Patti Hunt, Grant coordinator, said, "The GEAR UP TN Grant is a perfect fit with the postsecondary goals and objectives we are implementing in Bradley County Schools. Growing a "postsecondary culture” in our community will provide open doors and opportunities to all our students and make them a marketable workforce to business and industry coming into our community and surrounding area."
The Bradley County School District will form a local, community-based GEAR UP TN Collaborative to provide college access and success-focused services to students at Lake Forest Middle School, GOAL Academy, and Bradley Central High School. Students in the Class of 2018, who are currently in the seventh grade, will receive services as a cohort through middle school, high school, and their first year of postsecondary education. Seniors at participating GEAR UP TN high schools will also receive direct services to prepare for college and apply to postsecondary programs. Services include one-on-one mentoring, tutoring, college visits, and finanacial aid counseling. The grant also provides for each county to hire a local site coordinator to work directly with students and oversee local implementation.
Statewide services, provided to all Tennessee students, will include a public outreach campaign and a college access and success website, CollegeforTN.org.
Each GEAR UP TN Collaborative includes formal partnerships with at least one middle school, one high school, and a higher education institution, a local board of education, and at least two community-based organizations. Partners will provide a mix of in-kind matching and additional funding to ensure that the Collaborative continues beyond the seven-year grant. Bradley County Schools' GEAR UP TN
Collaborative will partner with Cleveland State Community College, Lee University, Bradley County Board of Education, Oasis Center, Centers for School Climate and Dropout Prevention, Bradley/Cleveland Public Education Foundation, tnAchìeves, and Chattanooga Public Education Foundation (PEF).
The list of services that will be provided by each partner are: Cleveland State Community College - Grade Appropriate college Awareness Programs, Junior Seminar, Parent Workshops, Tutoring & Mentoring, Scholarships/with tnAchieves at Bradley Central High School, Dual Enrollment, Summer Camp; Lee University - Summer Residential Math Camp for Rising graders in 2015, Summer Residential Math Carnp for Rising 10"1 graders in 2016; tnAchie\res - Last-Dollar Scholarship and Mentoring Program, FAFSA Days; Oasis Center Professional Development Training and Consultation; Center for School Climate and Dropout Prevention - Assessment and Training Support; Bradley County Public Education Foundation - Raising Community Awareness, Financial Support for the Collaboration; Chattanooga Public Education Foundation Professional Development with Director of College Access and Director of Data & Research.
This is Tennessee's second GEAR UP grant. The 2012 award follows the implementation of a successful
2005 GEAR UP grant which resulted in a 22.8 percent increase in college-going rates in nine participating school districts. Tennessee was one of seven states awarded a competitive 2012 GEAR UP grant.
The counties receiving funding in the current GEAR UP TN program are: Anderson, Bradiey, Campbell,
Claiborne, Davidson/Metro Nashville Public Schools, Grainger, Hancock, Hardeman, Haywood, Henderson, Johnson, NicNairy, Robertson, Shelby/Memphis City Schools, Union, and Wayne.
For more Information, please Contact Patti Hunt, Grant Coordinator, Bradley County Schools at 423 476-
0620 or phunt@bradIeyschoolsorg.