GEAR UP: Project ReACH

What is GEAR UP?

SRSU GEAR UP is a Department of Education funded grant program that serves a cohort of area students who entered seventh grade in the fall of 2011. The program tracks this cohort of students through 6 years of secondary education and continues with a summer college bridge program following high school graduation in 2018.  The program finalizes by following the students progress through their first year in college. Program participants attend 4 school districts in 3 Texas counties bordering Mexico.

What Services does GEAR UP provide?

SRSU GEAR UP strives to provide services in three key areas to improve academic achievement, high school graduation, and college enrollment.  These areas are student development, parental development, and institutional development. Student participants receive services that include but are not limited to: tutoring, after-school academic success skills programs, intensive Summer Camp programs, college and financial aid workshop, individual counseling, mentoring, 21st Century Scholar events, and scholarship opportunities. Parent participants receive regular updates on their child's academic progress, financial aid workshops, FAFSA assistance, college campus tours, and educational counseling. Partner educational institutions receive financial assistance for staff development, technology training, additional classroom support, and supplemental purchases of STEM-based equipment.

How does GEAR UP assist partner school faculty?

GEAR UP is designed to address partner school teachers' needs for training in effective instructional techniques. Faculty development is carefully staged to target the current and next year's participants' teachers (but will be available to all), so that after seven years of programming, systemic and durable improvements in middle and high school instruction will benefit students for years to come.

Who is eligible?

All students who entered seventh grade in 2011 from the 4 GEAR UP Partner Schools including Alpine, Presidio, Terlingua, and San Felipe (Del Rio Middle) school districts. (Students who enter this cohort as it reaches a later grade are also eligible.)

How long will students be served?

Participants receive GEAR UP services throughout the 7-year life cycle of the grant.  Students will be served in middle and high school and through their first year of college after high school graduation.

How is the effectiveness of GEAR UP measured?

SRSU GEAR UP target outcomes include:

  • 2-5 percent annual increases in standardized test scores
  • GPAs of 2.5 or more among 80% of participants
  • 90 percent promotion and high school graduation rates
  • 2018 college enrollment equal to national average.