Friday, October 13, 2006
OU’s pre-college program receives three-year fundingBy Rebecca Wyatt, OU Web Writer
Elementary, middle and high school students from around the area come to OU to experience campus life and hopefully be inspired to work through the challenges they face and obtain a college degree. OU’s pre-college program, GEAR UP, recently received funding for three more years of service.
Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Program, was designed to increase the number of low-income students to enter and succeed in college. The six-year-old program was funded by an $18 million U.S. Department of Education grant shared by the 15 public universities in Michigan.
Oakland University has partnered with Roosevelt Middle School in Oak Park and Jefferson and Lincoln middle schools in Pontiac to provide Saturday Academies, campus visit, parent programs and tutoring for nearly 700 students. Once they graduate, the students have the opportunity to receive a college scholarship.
Last year, pre-college programs brought more than 1,000 middle school and high school students to campus, capping one of the program’s most successful years. Over the summer, the King Chavez Parks program hosted the summer Extended College Day program to further immerse the students and motive them.
“The program’s goal is to inspire the underrepresented populations of students in the area, including African Americans, Latinos and Native Americans, to go to college,” said Reginald McCloud, coordinator of Pre-College Programs. “”They get off the bus and they have these scowls on their faces, but by the time they leave they are asking the mentors to call them and e-mail them, and they really have had a great time. We can see we have had an impact on them.”
The students participated in business-related programs, learned about technology from the Student Technology Center and heard lectures from various OU professors. The students also took field trips to education venues, including the Cranbrook Institute of Science and the Chrysler Museum at DaimlerChrysler.
Students who participate in KCP also are eligible for a number of scholarships including the McCree Scholarship and the Compact Scholarship.
In the future, the Department of Learning Resources and Pre-College Programs would like to develop OU College Days and Extended College Day programs and offer the services to more students in the area.
“We’re working on a number of different initiatives for the future to help all students, from elementary school through high school, get excited about coming to college and OU,” said McCloud.
For more information on the KCP program or other pre-college initiatives, contact McCloud at (248) 370-3203.