The U.S. Department of Education has awarded a seven-year, $31.5 million Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Program (GEAR UP) grant to improve college access and readiness for Connecticut students. The NVCC Bridge to College office oversees the Waterbury GEAR UP program. GEAR UP in Waterbury is a partnership between NVCC, the Waterbury Public School System and the community. GEAR UP is funded through the CT Board of Regents for Higher Education in the amount of $11.2 million over the next seven years. The GEAR UP grant initiative will service a total cohort of approximately 2,500 sixth and seventh graders enrolled in the Waterbury Public School System beginning with the 2012 – 2013 school year.

The mentoring program conducted during the school day will be objective based sessions and will focus on a main theme for a particular class for the given school year. Students enrolled in the program will also be able to take advantage of content based tutoring for two hours a day, four days a week following the school day. In addition, 200 students from each middle school will be awarded a scholarship to attend a five week GEAR UP summer program located at each middle school. Students will be provided transportation, breakfast and lunch. The summer program will provide students’ classes in Math, English and Science in the morning followed by workforce based classes in the afternoon.

David Celotto
GEAR UP Program Director: