Fayetteville State University (FSU) will receive $8.2 million over the next seven years for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP).  GEAR UP is funded by the US Department of Education and the purpose of the program is to prepare middle and high school students for college through academic preparation programs.  GEAR UP will begin working with students in the sixth and seventh grades and continue to support them through their freshman year in college.

GEAR UP provides early college preparation and awareness services through tutoring, mentoring, academic advising, career exploration, college visits, financial aid information, student success workshops, Saturday academies, and summer enrichment camps. In addition, through the Parent Engagement Institute, services are provided for parents in assisting their children with school success and college access. As well, professional development activities are provided for educators at the target schools.

According to Dr. Teresa Thompson-Pinckney, executive director of College Access & Success Programs at Fayetteville State University, “GEAR UP is a national initiative that began in 1998 to encourage more American youth to have high expectations, stay in school, study hard and take the right courses to prepare for college.  Through this project, Fayetteville State University, along with our partners, is demonstrating our commitment to youth living in Cumberland County by leveraging resources for us to invest in student success and create a culture that helps all young people achieve.”