What is GEAR UP?
GEAR UP stands for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs. In October 2017 the federal program gave CHISD $6.3 million for sixth- and seventh-grade students at Bessie Coleman and W. S. Permenter middle schools. 7th- and 8th-grade students attending Collegiate Academy Middle School are also a part of the GEAR UP Cohort.
How does it work?
The funds follow all current seventh- and eighth-grade students through their first year of college to help them improve academic achievement, and ensure high school graduation and college enrollment. The funds are used to serve scholar, parent, and staff development.
The district uses the money in several areas:
- New college readiness staff
- College entrance exam preparation
- College financial planning and preparation for families
- Career surveys, planning
- College prep & career course alignment
- Summer enrichment camps
- Career shadowing
- New technology
- College campus visits for parents and scholars
- FAFSA assistance
- Tutoring and after-school academic success skills programs
- Leadership training
- Study skills courses
- Individualized counseling/mentoring
Parents will receive regular updates on program offerings and achievements.
CHISD staff receives training, additional classroom support, and supplemental purchases of STEM-based equipment. Educators use the college readiness teaching techniques with upcoming grade levels, benefiting more than just the scholars who are a part of the current GEAR UP program.
How will it help?
Middle and High School campuses will experience improved sustainability and increase academic progress. Parents will be well informed and students will be college and career ready when they graduate high school.
Some of the program’s target outcomes:
- 80 percent of students will complete two years of math beyond Algebra I by the 12th grade.
- 95 percent of students will complete the SAT and ACT by the end of the 11th grade.
- 100 percent of students will complete the financial aid application by the end of their first semester of 12th grade.
- 85 percent of students will enroll in postsecondary education immediately following high school.