Washington, D.C. – Dr. Adam S. Green, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission and the West Virginia Community and Technical College System, was honored in Washington, D.C. yesterday for his work in assisting students in earning a college diploma. Dr. Green was presented the national “GEAR UP Professional of the Year,” award during the National Council for Community and Education Partnerships conference.
The award is given to one or two individuals each year who have demonstrated outstanding work in promoting the goals of the “Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP)” project, a federally funded initiative that provides college readiness services to more than 570,000 students nationwide.
In his role at the Commission and CTCS, Dr. Green serves as the director of West Virginia GEAR UP, a seven-year grant program to help students in ten counties complete some form of education or training beyond high school.
In accepting the award, Dr. Green emphasized that the recognition was reflective of strong partnerships and the innovative work of many individuals who are dedicated to meeting the state’s goal of “Doubling the Degrees” conferred by 2025.
“West Virginians are putting their minds — and, most importantly, their hearts — toward helping more students take advantage of the opportunities higher education provides,” Dr. Green said. “Our staff, community partners, government representatives and even the students and families the program serves are all striving to ensure the future prosperity of West Virginia by making sure our citizens fulfill their potential and develop their skills and talents.”
The Commission received its first GEAR UP grant from the U.S. Department of Education in 2008 and has since been awarded a second grant providing funding through 2021.
Many services piloted through the West Virginia GEAR UP program have since expanded statewide. For example, the Commission’s effort to provide college counseling through text messaging, which recently was shown to have a promising impact on college persistence, was initiated in GEAR UP communities. Likewise, West Virginia’s annual College Application and Exploration Week awareness campaign, which began as a college-planning activity in a handful of GEAR UP schools in 2010, was celebrated last fall in more than 400 schools across the state.