BY GAIL MATSUNAGA
From Dateline (October 28, 2004)
Grant Multiplies Possibilities For
GEAR UP Students
Anaheim High School senior women participating in
Cal State Fullerton’s GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and
Readiness for Undergraduate Program), will have opportunities to
further enhance their mathematics skills, thanks to a $46,253 grant
awarded to David L. Pagni, professor of mathematics, and Silas H.
Abrego, associate vice president for student affairs.
The grant, funded by the SBC Foundation, was awarded
by the National Council for Community and Education Partnerships’
2004 Promoting Excellence and Innovation in Education Grant Program.
“The SBC grant,” says Pagni, “will
allow us to extend GEAR UP intervention to include the Project MISS
[Mathematics, Intensive Summer Session] program for students who
are ready to take pre-calculus as seniors, and to incorporate individual
follow up of students in preparation for matriculating to a university.
”Fifty-seven young women – most of whom
are from Anaheim High – took part in Project MISS over the
summer. Throughout the school year, these women, in addition to
their Anaheim High female classmates, are having one-on-one contacts
with a program coordinator, as well as receiving information and
counseling on transcript evaluation, financial assistance, college
applications and plans, test preparation and parent involvement
GEAR UP has been following Anaheim High’s senior
class since it began seventh grade at Sycamore Junior High School.
The program advocates partnerships between colleges and middle schools
in low-income communities to help raise expectations and ensure
successful college entry.
Now in its 14th year, Project MISS is a four-week
summer program designed to encourage young women to pursue careers
in science and math. The long-range goal, according to Pagni, is
to narrow the gender and ethnic gap that exists for careers in science,
mathematics and engineering. The short-term goal is to address the
needs of female high school students who are college bound and succeeding
in all course work except math.