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U.S. Department of Education: Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs – Partnership Grants

Deadline: July 13, 2018

Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) encourages eligible entities to provide support, and maintain a commitment, to eligible low-income students, including students with disabilities, to assist the students in obtaining a secondary school diploma (or its recognized equivalent) and to prepare for and succeed in postsecondary education. Grant activities must include providing financial aid information for postsecondary education, encouraging enrollment in rigorous and challenging coursework in order to reduce the need for remediation at the postsecondary level, implementing activities to improve the number of participating students who obtain a secondary school diploma and who complete applications for and enroll in a program of postsecondary education. Activities may also include mentoring, tutoring, supporting dual or concurrent enrollment programs that support participating students in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM), academic and career counseling, financial and economic literacy education, and exposure to college campuses.

This notice contains one absolute priority with several categories. Applicants must address at least one priority area in at least three of the following four categories. Addressing additional activities or addressing all four categories will not increase an applicant’s score, but applicants may choose to do so. The four categories under this priority are:

Category 1: Fostering Flexible and Affordable Paths To Obtaining Knowledge and Skills: Projects that are designed to address one or more of the following priority areas:

  • Developing or implementing pathways to recognized postsecondary credentials focused on career and technical skills that align with in-demand industry sectors or occupations. Students may obtain such credentials through a wide variety of education providers, such as: Institutes of Higher Education (IHEs) eligible for federal student financial aid programs, nontraditional education providers (e.g., apprenticeship programs or computer coding boot camps), and providers of self-guided learning.
  • Providing work-based learning experiences (such as internships, apprenticeships, and fellowships) that align with in-demand industry sectors or occupations.
  • Creating or expanding innovative paths to a recognized postsecondary credential or obtainment of job-ready skills that align with in-demand industry sectors or occupations, such as through career pathways. Such credentials may be offered to students through a wide variety of education providers, such as providers eligible for federal student financial aid programs, nontraditional education providers, and providers of self-guided learning.
  • Creating or expanding opportunities for students to obtain recognized postsecondary credentials in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, or computer science.

Category 2: Promoting Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math (STEM) Education, with a Particular Focus on Computer Science: Projects designed to improve student achievement or other educational outcomes in one or more of the following areas: Science, technology, engineering, math, or computer science. These projects may address one or more of the following priority areas:

  • Supporting student mastery of key prerequisites (e.g., Algebra I) to ensure success in all STEM fields, including computer science; exposing children or students to building-block skills (such as critical thinking and problem-solving, gained through hands-on, inquiry-based learning); or supporting the development of proficiency in the use of computer applications necessary to transition from a user of technologies, particularly computer technologies, to a developer of them.
  • Increasing access to STEM coursework, including computer science, and hands-on learning opportunities, such as through expanded course offerings, dual-enrollment, high-quality online coursework, or other innovative delivery mechanisms.
  • Creating or expanding partnerships between schools, local educational agencies, state educational agencies, businesses, nonprofit organizations, or institutions of higher education to give students access to internships, apprenticeships, or other work-based l earning experiences in STEM fields, including computer science.
  • Other evidence-based and innovative approaches to expanding access to high-quality STEM education, including computer science.
  • Utilizing technology for educational purposes in communities served by rural local educational agencies or other areas identified as lacking sufficient access to such tools and resources.

Category 3: Protecting Freedom of Speech and Encouraging Respectful Interactions in a Safe Educational Environment, or Fostering Knowledge and Promoting the Development of Skills That Prepare Students To Be Informed, Thoughtful, and Productive Individuals and Citizens: Projects that are designed to address one or more of the following priority areas:

  • Protecting free speech in order to allow for the discussion of diverse ideas or viewpoints.
  • Fostering knowledge of the common rights and responsibilities of American citizenship and civic participation, such as through civics education.

Category 4: Fostering Knowledge and Promoting the Development of Skills That Prepare Students To Be Informed, Thoughtful, and Productive Individuals and Citizens: Projects that are designed to address supporting instruction in personal financial literacy, knowledge of markets and economics, knowledge of higher education financing and repayment (e.g., college savings and student loans), or other skills aimed at building personal financial understanding and responsibility.

Amount: A total of $64,833,000 is available to make up to 54 awards that range from $100,000-$7,000,000 and average $1,200,000. The maximum award per student is $800 for a single budget period of 12 months. The project period is either 72 months or 84 months. Applicants must provide from state, local, institutional, or private funds, not less than 50 percent of the cost of the program in cash or in-kind.

Eligibility: Partnerships consisting of: (a) at least one local educational agency (LEA) and (b) at least one degree-granting IHE. Partnerships may include not less than two other community organizations or entities, such as businesses, professional organizations, State agencies, institutions or agencies sponsoring programs authorized under the Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership Program authorized in part A, subpart 4, of title IV of the HEA (20 U.S.C. 1070c et seq.), or other public or private agencies or organizations (20 U.S.C. 1070a-21(c)(2)).

Link: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=305992

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