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College Access Programs

The office of College Access Programs, which is part of the department of Student Success Initiatives in the Academic Strategies division, houses two federally funded programs: the state’s College Access Challenge Grant (CACG) Program and Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Program (Oregon GEAR UP). These two programs work in concert to increase the number of traditionally underrepresented students, namely low-income, who are prepared to enter and succeed in college. The College Access Challenge Grant was awarded to the State of Oregon, and the Oregon University System coordinates the grant activity for the state, in collaboration with all postsecondary sectors in the state.

The Director of College Access Programs also works collaboratively with Board, campus, and state leadership on initiatives related to student access and success.

College Access Challenge Grant (CACG)

Adult Learner Focus

The State of Oregon currently holds two CACG grants. The first grant awarded in 2008 focuses  on prospective students in Oregon including adult learners by encouraging them to consider the possibilities of postsecondary training, providing them with information about how to return to or enroll in college, and training guidance counselors and mentors on current financial aid information to provide to students and families. Funding for this program runs through August 2011, and includes the Adult Learner College Line (877-848-4669), a free college guidance hotline for prospective students, and the OregonOpportunities.gov website.

K-12 Focus

In August of 2010 the State of Oregon received a second CACG grant. This one-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education for $1.5 million extends through August 2011, and focuses efforts on increasing the number of pre-college aged students who are prepared to be successful in some form of postsecondary education.

Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP)

Oregon GEAR UP is a collaborative program that works with school districts, colleges and universities, and partner organizations across the state to increase the number of low-income Oregon students who pursue and succeed in postsecondary education. A federal GEAR UP grant has supported activities in Oregon since 2002, with 12 school districts currently receiving funding until 2014. In addition, The Ford Family Foundation is funding 10 rural school districts in Curry, Coos and Douglas counties until 2017Contacts