The El Paso Community College GEAR UP Partnership began its journey to promote college awareness and readiness in the fall of 2006. Awarded 6 million dollars in the summer of 2006, the grant serves underprivileged minorities in the rural communities of Anthony, Canutillo, Clint, and Tornillo, on their road to secondary and post-secondary success. The partnership is led by a Project Management Team that consists of a Program Manager, Program Assistant, (4) Program Guidance Assistants (PGA), and a Research Associate.
The Fall 2006 semester was dedicated exclusively to building relationships with each partner through meetings and community visits. Our Program Guidance Assistants have counseling assignments between all district and community partners equally supporting all GEAR UP related efforts. Supporting the objectives of the grant, spring 2007 started with three main focuses:
- Develop an activities/events calendar that mirrored and/or supported each district's current calendar of events,
- Develop an instrument(s) to document and support all GEAR UP related activities/events (ie databases, etc), and
- Implement strategies to develop continued awareness of GEAR UP to all administrators, faculty, staff, and students by engaging in weekly and/or monthly meetings.
In addition to our Project Management Team, we also have a Project Advisory Committee (PAC). The current committee is made up of all partnering middle school principals, three representatives from each community partner, and the GEAR UP Project Management Team (PMT). The PAC meets monthly and serves as the overall steering committee for all major events and activities.