Representatives from the University of Oklahoma hosted a celebration of a new initiative, “GEAR UP for LIFE,” on Nov. 9. The program is a partnership between OU’s K20 Center for Educational and Community Renewal and 28 under-resourced schools across 23 primarily rural school districts in Oklahoma to help students and their families prepare for college and workforce training.
OU’s K20 Center, a statewide research and development center, received a $43 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education, with equal matching funds from grant partners, including Oklahoma’s Promise program, totaling more than $86 million to implement GEAR UP for LIFE. The “GEAR UP” program, which stands for “Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs,” began through the U.S. Department of Education in 1998. It is one of the largest national programs focused on increasing low-income students’ college and career readiness.