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TRIO and GEAR UP Programs Have Record of Success

Campus Efforts Guide Underrepresented Students
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For more than 20 years, Cal State Fullerton has been helping underrepresented students see that they have a future in higher education, through the U.S. Department of Education-funded TRIO and GEAR UP Programs.

The Student Service Division of the federal agency has awarded CSUF nearly $3 million this year alone, in support of Upward Bound, Talent Search and Student Support Services — three of the University’s four federal TRIO Programs, which are designed to identify and provide services for those from disadvantaged backgrounds, working with such individuals while they are in high school, as they enter college as freshmen, and as college students — as well as CSUF’s two GEAR UP efforts.

“Thanks to the partnerships with the U.S. Department of Education, CSUF provides opportunities to help students progress onto higher education, and be successful in the baccalaureate, graduate school and beyond,” said Melba Castro, director of educational partnerships. “Our programs work with students and their families, teachers, counselors and administration to foster a college-going culture — with the overall intent of impacting generations!

“We believe in fostering collaborative relationships with schools, school districts, colleges, universities and community organizations to provide meaningful educational experiences that impact the lives of students and their families.”

The recent award recipients are:
GEAR UP-Anaheim — recipient of a new seven-year grant expected to total $7.2 million. First year award: $1.1 million and CSUF GEAR UP — recipient of $970,260 in fifth-year funding of a six-year grant. Both programs follow cohorts of seventh-grade students through their junior high and high school studies, providing academic support and encouragement to develop a college-going culture and ensure that college is within reach of participating students.

Upward Bound, awarded $362,260 in third-year funding of a five-year grant to continue its program of helping eligible high school students prepare for and succeed in college by providing year-round academic support and enrichment activities. The program, established in 1992, begins as students transition into ninth grade and works with them through high school. Upward Bound also tracks the students into their first year in college. Estimated total over five years: $1,067,804.

Talent Search, awarded $230,000 this year — the last year of a five-year grant totalling $1,137,971. The 24-year-old program identifies eligible students from Anaheim, Katella, Magnolia and Savanna high schools and provides services and support to help them graduate and enter a college or university. Approximately 600 students participate in the program each year and on average, 91 percent of participants graduate and enroll in postsecondary education.

Student Support Services, recipient of $292,340 in the first year of a five-year award expected to total $1.4 million, works directly with about 30 first-generation students attending CSUF, providing a wide range of services, including counseling, study skills workshops, career and graduate school advisement and overall support.