In effort to increase student college enrollment and success and to transform the lives of low-income families and their communities, GEAR UP Virginia (GUV) began offering college preparatory services and skills development to a cohort of seventh-grade students at 28 middle schools in 15 school districts beginning in 2014-15. These students will receive support through their first year of college, following high school graduation in 2020. Beginning in 2015-16, GUV also offers critical college preparation services annually to up to 50 homeless youth (priority students), during their senior year at four high schools, and support them through their first year of college.*
Goals and Objectives: Goals are to: 1) increase the academic performance and college preparation of GUV students; 2) increase the number of students in rigorous courses; 3) increase knowledge of college and financial aid among students and their families; 4) improve college readiness rates; and 5) increase college enrollment rates.
Number of Students Served: GEAR UP Virginia currently serves 4,307 eighth-graders and up to 50 Priority Population homeless students annually for six years (up to 300 total).
Activities and Services: GEAR UP services include: 1) tutoring and mentoring; 2) summer programs to promote transition to high school and, later, transition to college; 3) professional development for teachers in core academic areas; 4) college and financial aid awareness workshops for students/parents; 5) visits to a variety of colleges; 6) counseling and advising related to college and career; 7) academic services in high school so that students do not need remediation in college; and 8) outreach to help high school graduates as they transition to postsecondary education.
According to our most recent survey, GUV students and parents found college visits, educational field trips, tutoring, and financial workshops most helpful for helping students decide what to do after graduation.
GEAR UP Virginia Student Demographics (based upon 2015-16 Annual Performance Report):
- 7% of students are considered to be Limited English Proficient (LEP)
- 12% of GUV students have an Individualized Educational Program (IEP)
- 9% of GUV students are Latino
- 53% of GUV students are African American
- 71% average free/reduced lunch eligibility rate amongst GUV schools
GEAR UP Scholarship: GUV students are eligible to receive a one-time award of up to $2,000 and no less than $600 for one term, depending on their college enrollment level (full-time, three-quarter-time, half-time, and less than half-time).
GEAR UP Virginia Quick Facts (based upon 2015-16 Annual Performance Report):
- 97% of GUV students were promoted to the 8th grade at the end of last school year.
- 33% of GUV parents participated in at least one GEAR UP activity in the past year.
- 50% of GUV students visited a college campus in the 8th Grade.
- 3 GUV students will represent Virginia in July 2016 at the National GEAR UP Youth Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C.
- 2 GUV parents will represent Virginia in July 2016 at the National GEAR UP Parent Leadership Institute
Information provided by: http://www.schev.edu/index/students-and-parents/resources/gear-up