U.P. colleges share in statewide grant

The State of Michigan’s Martin Luther King-Cesar Chávez-Rosa Parks (KCP) Initiative has been awarded a seven-year, $46 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to increase the number of low-income and under-represented students who enter and succeed in postsecondary education.

The Gaining Early Awareness & Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) grant will help prepare and support 10,000 students in 49 school districts throughout Michigan for college careers.

“For Michigan to thrive, we must tap the intellectual resources of all of our citizens,” said Dianne Duthie, Director of the Education and Career Success Division of the state’s Workforce Development Agency. “This grant will allow us to help thousands of Michigan kids make it into college and get the education they’ll need to take advantage of Michigan’s emerging economy.”

The Michigan legislature established the KCP Initiative in 1986 to address low participation and graduation rates among Michigan’s academically and economically challenged students.

The federal grant will fund Michigan GEAR UP (MI GEAR UP), a collaborative effort of the state of Michigan, Michigan’s 15 public universities, and a range of college access organizations to meet a set of commonly-held goals, including:

Educating parents, students, educators and administrators on the benefits and accessibility of a college education through a variety of strategies including support for guidance counseling, technical assistance, and college visits.

Improving students’ academic standards and expectations for college through participation in advanced classes, tutoring, mentoring, advising, summer programs/institutes and professional development.

Increasing MI GEAR UP students and family understanding of college education options, preparation, and financing through financial aid workshops, publications, and collaboration with Michigan Promise Zones.

Michigan’s public universities will implement the grant in partnership with the KCP Initiative, and will provide matching funds in support of KCP programs. MI GEAR UP’s university partners are:

Central Michigan University

Oakland University

Eastern Michigan University

Saginaw Valley State University

Ferris State University

University of Michigan – Ann Arbor

Grand Valley State University

University of Michigan – Dearborn

Lake Superior State University

University of Michigan – Flint

Michigan State University

Wayne State University

Michigan Technological University

Western Michigan University

Northern Michigan University

In addition to the universities, the following partners will contribute to the program goals: EduGuide, Michigan College Access Network (MCAN), Michigan Campus Compact (MCC), Michigan Department of Education (MDE), Michigan Department of Treasury Office of Scholarships & Grants (OSG) and The University of Michigan – School of Social Work (UM-SSW), College of Engineering – Center for Educational Diversity and Outreach (CEDO) and the Center for Educational Outreach (CEO).

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, a public-private partnership serving as the state’s marketing arm and lead agency for business, talent and jobs, focuses on helping grow Michigan’s economy. For more on the MEDC and its initiatives, visit: www.MichiganAdvantage.org.