Seven community colleges will receive funds to support student success and persistence
In order to continue supporting students after they graduate from high school, Oregon GEAR UP is partnering with seven community colleges to create or enhance programs to support first-year students. The Postsecondary Success Initiative targets community colleges in Oregon that have historically enrolled, on average, at least 25 students from GEAR UP schools per year.
The community colleges who applied and will recieve $125,000 each are Blue Mountain, Chemeketa, Linn-Benton, Lane, Oregon Coast, Southwestern Oregon, and Umpqua. Funds will be used for programs that help students transition and integrate into college, build capacity of academic advising and support, and increase financial awareness.
We are very happy to support innovation at community colleges around the state as they develop programs to support low-income and first-generation students.
Specific goals for this initiative are to:
"We are very happy to support innovation at community colleges around the state as they develop programs to support low-income and first-generation students," said Stephanie Carnahan, the Oregon GEAR UP program director. "GEAR UP middle and high schools have been working with students for six years to increase their college going aspirations and skills, so as these students transition to college, we want to facilitate a smooth handoff, so to speak. Students have been working hard to prepare for postsecondary education and we want to do all we can to support them achieve their dreams."
The funds will be used in a variety of ways. For example, Southwestern Oregon Community College will enhance their existing online orientation, while Umpqua Community College will implement a Math Studio Lab to help students satisfy their math prerequisites at an accelerated pace. Blue Mountain Community College will hire a GEAR UP Success Coach to help support students with registering for classes, applying for financial aid, and adjusting to life on a college campus.
"The opportunity provided by GEAR UP will allow BMCC to work with four of our high school graduating classes to better support students considering college in the spring," said Bruce Clemetsen, interim Vice President of Student Affairs at Blue Mountain Community College. "We will have a more robust transition program in spring and summer leading to more support programs for success during the first year. Our staff and faculty who are involved are excited to work with this cohort in new ways that create equity for success.”