Middle school students in Monterey County will be better equipped for college thanks to federal grants awarded to Cal State Monterey Bay.
The money will allow 3,620 students to be served in San Ardo, San Lucas, Greenfield, King City, Salinas and Seaside.
The grants, which amount to $2.1 million per year for six years, with another $1.4 million in year seven, were awarded under the Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs – GEAR UP – administered by the U.S Department of Education.
GEAR UP aims to increase the proportion of students from low-income areas who are prepared for college. It provides academic and financial aid advising, tutoring, college field trips and other activities that help students prepare for and apply to college.
The project will begin working with seventh- and eighth-grade classes this year and will provide services through their first year of college.
While CSUMB offers a variety of early outreach and support programs for underserved students, this is the first GEAR UP grant for the university.
• CSU Monterey Bay received one of 24 grants from the U.S Department of Education to recruit, train and support new teachers primarily in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
The Teacher Quality Partnership grant totals $8.6 million over five years and will allow the university to work with high-need school districts to strengthen teacher preparation programs, ensuring that teachers have the skills to improve student achievement.
CSUMB is partnering with Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and 10 school districts in Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties with a total enrollment of 75,000 students.
• Dr. Josh Harrower, a professor in CSUMB's College of Education, will work with the Monterey County Office of Education to implement Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support under a $2.6 million grant awarded to MCOE. PBIS is credited with improving school climate, which leads to better student behavior and improved academic performance. It emphasizes recognition and praise of positive behavior as opposed to punishing students for bad behavior.