GEAR UP’s Model for Closing the Achievement Gap: Listening to Students’ and Parents’ Perspectives on Academic Success and College Readiness Dolores D. Mena, Ph.D., Lorri Capizzi, M.A., & Xiaolu Hu, Ph.D. San José State University Dalia Borrego & Irma Jaramillo GEAR UP Parents/Parent Liaisons Yerba Buena & Mt. Pleasant High Schools 12th Alicia Gutierrez Grader, Mt. Pleasant High School 12th Osmar Perez Grader, San Jose High School San Jose/Silicon Valley 2020 Symposium Santa Clara County Office of Education September 25, 2013 What is GEAR UP? Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP): 6-yr program funded through the U.S. Department of Education Purpose is to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. Provides services at high-poverty middle and high schools (at least 50% eligible free & reduced lunch) Serves an entire cohort of students from 7th – 12th grades. SJSU Counselor Education Department GEAR UP grants: 1999-2005, 2000-2005, 2008-2014 Providing Coherent Pathways to Impact the Global Economy GEAR UP - Closing the achievement gap by: Increase GEAR UP students’ academic performance and preparation for post-secondary education (e.g., Provide support through personal, academic, and career counseling, after school tutoring, college fieldtrips, training in SAT and CAHSEE) Increase students’ high school graduation rate and post-secondary enrollment (e.g., Provide Saturday academy and summer school) Building social capital for students’ success by: Increase students’ and families’ knowledge of post-secondary education options, preparation, & financing (e.g., Provide workshops and parent network) Provide academic, career, and social support (e.g., Provide mentoring, college fieldtrips, individual meetings, and student case management) Providing Pathways for Students Regardless of Background and SES Cohort approach – serve all students within a grade level Follow cohort students from 7th – 12th grades Build college-going culture among the cohort students Intentionally hire counselors/coaches who are 1st generation and bilingual/bi-cultural to relate to and connect with students and parents Providing Students with In-depth Math and Science Content Knowledge Provide summer school and credit recovery classes to ensure students achieve aligned math and science requirements Provide engaging and experiential learning opportunities (Short video – Chemistry water pollution documentary, Summer 2012) Provide students learning experiences related to science and technology (Short video - Geography project documentary, Summer 2011) Providing Weekend, Evening, and Summer Support to Decrease the Learning Gap Provide summer school, credit recovery, Cyber High, Saturday Academy, and CAHSEE prep classes Provide teacher training for SAT Prep Monitor student performance and use data to recruit students to after school, summer, and Saturday programs Implications for the Community, School System, and Way of Life Work with community partners (e.g., AVID, Cal-SOAP, California Youth Outreach, Catholic Charities, San Jose/Evergreen Community College District) to expand the program’s impact Work with SJSU teacher, counselor, and administrative credential candidates to become change agents to close the student achievement gap in Silicon Valley Work with school and district leaders to build college-going culture Should the U.S. incorporate values and nonacademic skills back into the curriculum to build character and morally conscious citizens? YES! SJSU GEAR UP: Addresses students’ academic, career, and social/personal development Focuses on developing students’ critical thinking skills related to issues that impact their local communities and the larger society (e.g., Geography documentary project) Guides and supports students in become contributing members of society Questions?