Posted: 8/11/05

TAMIU Gets $698,299 Gear-Up Award from Dept. of Education



Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) will receive a grant of $698,299 from the U.S. Department of Education to assist in early college preparation and scholarships for low-income students, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn announced this week.

The funding, through the Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP), is expected to be renewed annually over the next six years with a total potential funding of $4.2 million.  The previous GEAR UP I grant award was $3.5 million.

 “This funding provides TAMIU the support they need and the necessary tools to help teens learn, develop and prepare for success in college,” Sen. Cornyn said, “I believe it’s important that young people are as well prepared as possible for higher education, and the GEAR UP program will help accomplish that goal.”

Dr. Ray Keck, TAMIU president, said the program has been a blessing for the University’s non-traditional population.

“Having worked closely with GEAR-UP and followed its activities over the number of years, I know how effective this program can be for bringing the blessings of higher education to a non-traditional population. We can assure  Senator Cornyn that this money, in Laredo, will be well spent and he will know that legislative  intent is honored. The  Senator has been a great friend to Laredo, and we welcome the very soonest opportunity to receive him when next he is in Texas,” Dr. Keck said.  

“A good educational foundation is the cornerstone of future success for a young person,” Sen. Cornyn said, “I applaud local leaders for working to secure this funding and the Department of Education for recognizing this need and supporting it.”

GEAR UP is designed to assist disadvantaged students, from seventh grade through high school, to prepare for and succeed in post-secondary education. The grant will help expand the scope and impact of the Texas GEAR UP programs and projects and is a partnership between local universities, school districts and businesses.

The TAMIU Program, GEAR UP II "Creating A Vision,” is coordinated  through the Office of Special Programs and will work with a cohort group of students that will graduate in the year 2012. New grant partners include Laredo Independent School District, the United Independent School District, the  Laredo Chamber of Commerce, and members of the banking and financial community.

It provides support to member campuses and teachers with tutors, advisors, site coordinators and structured activities. Campuses participating in this grant award include George Washington Middle School, Cigarroa Middle School and Antonio Gonzalez Middle School.  The  combined student population affected by this grant at all three campuses numbers approximately 1,050 students.

For additional information on TAMIU’s GEAR-UP Program, contact Beatriz Salinas-Riojas at 956.326.2764, e-mail bsalinas@tamiu.edu or visit offices in the TAMIU Student Center, room 118.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu