Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Pre-College Program Recieves Financial Grant

Georgetown University received $4 million $13.9 million grant from the federally funded GEAR-UP program on Wednesday. The money will be used to help the university’s Institute for College Preparation at the Center for Minority Educational Affairs.

Washington, D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams presented the grant on behalf of the GEAR-UP program, which provides money for programs that help prepare low-income high school students for college. GEAR-UP grants focus on groups of students, rather than on individual students, that start the program no later than the seventh grade.

This was the first time that the District has received a GEAR-UP grant, which is part of a federal program formed by the Clinton administration. Remaining funds from the Bush administration were distributed among various pre-college outreach programs.

The grant consists of partnerships among colleges and universities, schools and outside organizations and a dollar-for-dollar matching program to sustain commitment in pre-college programs. The grant includes some matching funds from the D.C. Department of Education and from the various colleges that will share the grant: Trinity College, American, George Washington, Howard and Georgetown universities.

Georgetown’s Institute for College Preparation includes a variety of programs. The Schiff Scholars Program is a six-year program that selects about 50 sixth-graders from nearby middle schools to participate. The students come to Georgetown in the summer and on Saturdays during the school year to participate in experiences such as college-level instruction, mentoring, financial aid workshops, career internships, community service projects and college tours that help formulate their college and career plans.

The High School/College Internship Program offers seniors the opportunity to enroll part-time or full-time at a participating university while still in high school. The Kids to College program gives sixth-graders hands-on activities to encourage them to pursue higher education. The program also allows students to explore career opportunities and the educational requirements necessary to reach their career goals.

Georgetown’s Institute for College Preparation focuses on the underrepresented schools in the northeast district of D.C. because there are so few services to help students there.

“Our program opens the door to college for students who otherwise might not have thought that higher education was a possibility. We provide them with many opportunities to grow intellectually in a college setting,” Founding Director of the Institute for College Preparation at Georgetown Tom Bullock said.

The first cohort of 50 students was selected as participants in the Schiff Scholars Program when they began the seventh grade at Browne Junior High School in Northeast Washington, D.C., in 1989. About 30 original students continued the program until their high school graduation and all attended college, with one attending Georgetown. Eighty-five percent completed college.

Nearly 95 percent of the second group attended college and are now in their sophomore year. Three of these students attend Georgetown. This past summer, the students traveled to Belize where they studied biology, culture and language.

Funds from the GEAR-UP grant will help identify a new group for the next school year. Instead of selecting just 50 students as in the past, the Institute will now be able to integrate an entire seventh-grade class into the program. This class will come from among the 225 students who attend Ron Brown Middle School in Northeast Washington, D.C. There has been nothing but praise for this program, Georgetown’s Institute for College Preparation Counselor Charlene McKenzie said. “It’s a really phenomenal experience. Kids are able to have experiences that they normally wouldn’t have in this program.”

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