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Press Releases

Thursday, August 26, 2004

GEAR UP Grant Helps Somerset County Students

SALISBURY, MD---Living and attending school in one of Maryland’s poorest counties, some Somerset County high school students never would have thought of attending college. But thanks to the efforts of faculty and staff at Salisbury University during the past four years, they may now have a chance.

The Maryland Higher Education Commission has allocated $75,000 this year for this program, which is helping make college a reality for the high school students.

The grant funds the Gaining Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) Program, which has provided learning incentives for a group of Somerset students since 2000. Involving the students since their seventh-grade year, the program provides mentoring by Salisbury University students, an educational summer camp, visits to the campus, classes on successfully completing tests such as the SAT, and support for their teachers. 

“Our goal through the program is to not only encourage low-income students to pursue a college education, but also to provide them with a variety of college preparation services,” said Dr. Robert Tardiff, mathematics and computer science professor and co-director of the program at SU.

Dr. Michael Bardzell, mathematics and computer science professor, also co-directs the grant.

Somerset’s GEAR UP program is the only one of its kind on the Eastern Shore and has received high accolades from state coordinators. For more information call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU Web site at

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