CSUSB’s Gear-Up Program Receives More Than $14M Federal Grant


By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley) – The U.S. Department of Education has awarded a $14.2 million grant over a six-year period to Cal State San Bernardino’s GEAR-UP program-Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs.

“Receiving this grant will help serve a cohort of approximately 3,500 students, as we provide services to students starting in the seventh grade and are followed through their senior year,” said Stephen Villaseñor, director of CSUBS’s Upward Bound and lead grant-writer for GEAR-UP.

“In addition to being the only award in the Inland Empire, it was the largest annual award in the state. I am so happy for our community, excited for the university, and proud of my colleagues,” Villaseñor said. “I am especially grateful for the contributions of Summer Steele, assistant director of Upward Bound.  Her involvement in the planning process and experience with similar programs helped establish the vision outlined in the successful grant narrative.”

Cal State San Bernardino President Tomás D. Morales praised the university’s GEAR-UP program for its exceptional work.

“This is truly wonderful news and a credit to the outstanding efforts of the Cal State San Bernardino GEAR-UP program,” said Morales. “The Department of Education funding recognizes our GEAR-UP program for its long history of successes with at-risk students and their families in preparing them for college.”

Year-one funding for CSUSB’s GEAR-UP program will be $2,406,742, which is from a total of $82 million for 41 GEAR-UP grants throughout the U.S. The GEAR-UP grants will assist 116,000 at-risk students to prepare for college and receive the support they need to achieve success in postsecondary education, said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.


“GEAR-UP partnerships and state grants are inspiring examples of communities taking a stand for excellence and equity in education, investing in student success, and creating a culture that helps all young people achieve,” Secretary Duncan said. “I commend all the recipients for their relentless efforts to help students realize their potential through college readiness, access and completion.”


Partners work together to provide students and their families with a range of support services needed to prepare for college, including mentoring, counseling, tutoring and summer programs to succeed in higher-level math and other gateway college preparatory courses, as well as information about college and financial aid options.

The $82 million was distributed between two types of grants: more than $51.4 million for 31 partnership grants and more than $31.2 million among 10 state grants.

The criteria for both state and partnership awards requires agencies to target entire grades of students, work with local organizations and businesses, and include matching local contributions and in-kind services.

Among the 31 partnership grants nationwide, Cal State San Bernardino’s GEAR-UP program is working with the San Bernardino City Unified School District to provide services for a cohort of students at eight district middle schools and six high schools.

Other agency partners include Excelencia in Education, Destination College, Parent Institute for Quality Education and EduGuide. The project also will include partnerships with various business, non-profit groups and civil agencies.

CSUSB’s GEAR-UP program is administered by the University Enterprises Corporation. For more information about CSUSB’s GEAR-UP program, contact Stephen Villaseñor at (909) 537-3200 or email at stephen@csusb.edu.

For more information about Cal State San Bernardino, contact the university’s Office of Public Affairs at (909) 537-5007 and visit news.csusb.edu.

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