Commission on Higher Education
Promoting Excellence for All
Education Grant Reaches 29,000 Abbott School District Teachers and Students
AT&T Foundation Education Grants Integrate Technology in Classrooms and Promote College Readiness for Students
Bedminster, New Jersey, June 26, 2006
The AT&T Foundation, the philanthropic arm of AT&T Inc., and the National Council for Community and Education Partnerships (NCCEP) announced today a $38,260 grant for the New Jersey Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) State Project to train middle and high school teachers how to incorporate technology in their mathematics lessons and promote college readiness for high school students.
GEAR UP is a federal program that helps youth from low-income communities attain a postsecondary education. NCCEP provides technical assistance to GEAR UP grantees. NJ GEAR UP is one of 74 GEAR UP grant recipients funded by a $5 million grant from the AT&T Foundation. The New Jersey grant, administered by the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education, will benefit the 29,000 enrolled students at 29 middle and high schools in Camden, Paterson, Trenton, Newark and Jersey City. It is expected that the first group of teachers to be trained this summer will then educate all the math teachers in the target schools.
"We're grateful for AT&T's and the Commission on Higher Education's commitment to helping high school students become better prepared for college," said New Jersey Department of Education acting Commissioner Lucille E. Davy. "The GEAR UP program is an excellent opportunity for students to learn what it takes to succeed in a global economy."
According to a U.S. Department of Education study, high academic achievers from low-income families are only one-fifth as likely to enroll in college as similar students from high-income families. GEAR UP seeks to address this disparity through innovative partnerships. GEAR UP, enacted as a result of Congress' passage of the Higher Education Amendments of 1998, provides support for students in grades 7 — 12 to succeed in school and apply for college.
The program currently serves 1.5 million students nationwide, and more than 2,000 organizations currently participate in GEAR UP partnerships, which typically consist of collaborations among public school districts, universities, community colleges, community groups and/or businesses.
"AT&T applauds the New Jersey Department of Education (DOE) and the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education for continuing to make college preparedness programs a budgetary priority," said J. Michael Schweder, president, AT&T New Jersey. "Most of the fastest-growing jobs this decade will require education beyond high school. AT&T supports GEAR UP because it will provide students with the tools they need to prepare them for lifelong success."
In November 2005, the AT&T Foundation announced that it was providing $5 million to NCCEP to support GEAR UP. With the grant, the AT&T Foundation — the largest corporate supporter of the public/private GEAR UP partnership — brought its total philanthropic commitment to the program to $10 million.
"Many low-income and minority students face hurdles on the path to postsecondary education and a rewarding career," said Hector Garza, president of NCCEP. "GEAR UP program practices are an effective catalyst for positive impact on benchmarks ranging from enrollment in academically rigorous course work to graduation rates. Through the AT&T Foundation's generous support, more than 150 expanded GEAR UP programs will help youth succeed in middle and high school and prepare for a college-level education."
A full list of local GEAR UP partnerships receiving grants is available at www.edpartnerships.org.
Education is a primary funding area for the AT&T Foundation. In 2005, the AT&T Foundation provided more than $25 million to support education initiatives across the nation. Created from the merger of SBC Communications Inc. and AT&T Corp., the AT&T Foundation combines more than 40 years and $1.7 billion of philanthropic commitment to communities across the country.
"We are very excited about this partnership that allows us to build on our success with NJ GEAR UP by working with the Department of Education and AT&T. Together we can build teachers' capacity so students get the best education possible," said Jane Oates, executive director of the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education.
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About the AT&T Foundation
The National Council for Community and Education Partnerships (NCCEP) serves as the national technical assistance provider, annual conference convener and voice in Washington, D.C., for the GEAR UP program. NCCEP, a non-profit organization committed to creating and sustaining K-16 education partnerships, works to increase academic achievement and access to higher education for economically disadvantaged students. By building broad-based partnerships, linking schools and communities, developing new initiatives, supporting proven programs, and using research findings to create successful frameworks for action, NCCEP aims to invigorate the principle of equal educational opportunity for all, and to help improve K-16 education in the United States. One of the primary objectives of NCCEP is to promote academic achievement and encourage education reform in schools, colleges and universities.
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Jersey Commission on Higher Education, 1994-2006
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Last Updated: June 28, 2006