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Capitol College awarded grant for GEAR UP program

The Maryland Higher Education Commission has awarded the 2011 College Preparation Intervention Program (CPIP) a grant for over $19,000 for the purpose of preparing high school students for college. The grant was provided to support the Maryland Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP).

The awareness program targets seniors at Fairmont Heights High School and their parents or guardians and aims to increase student awareness of selected career fields requiring a college education. It includes high school academic preparation and will increase participating students’ knowledge of the college admissions process, scholarships and financial aid.

“Capitol has offered this program during the past year with much success, and we’re looking forward to continuing this initiative which helps particularly those first-generation college-bound students to gain some experience with the college application and admissions processes,” says Dianne Veenstra, vice president for assessment and retention.

The program begins in September with a kick-off ceremony for all GEAR UP participants and includes six college preparation and essay writing workshops throughout the fall semester focusing on students’ ability to effectively complete college and scholarship applications and write student essays, statements, and college-prep assignments. During the spring semester, both parents/guardians and students are invited to sessions like “The Journey to College,” “Dress for Success,” and “Your Virtual Image” which all emphasize proper public and business communication skills.

The closing ceremony, which concludes the program for the 2010-2011 academic year, allows parents/guardians and students a chance to reflect on the lessons they’ve learned and energize themselves for their college careers.