Project ReACH (Realizing and Achieving Collegiate Heights) will serve a cohort of approximately 1200 seventh graders in fall 2018 through a summer college bridge program following high school graduation in 2024. Participants attend 8 school districts in 5 Texas counties and three of these counties share a border with Mexico.
Partner districts report 82 percent Hispanic, 72 percent eligible for free/reduced priced lunch, and 18 percent limited English proficient students. Middle and high school student achievement, graduation, and post-secondary enrollment rates are low, reflecting insufficient use of instructional techniques to address diverse learning styles, inadequate information about college and financial aid, an isolated, rural culture, lack of family support, and inadequate partner school funding to develop programs and services that support student success.
To improve academic achievement, high school graduation, and college enrollment, participants and staff will make annual Individual Education Plans specifying services to meet students’ unique needs. Services will include tutoring, after-school academic success skills programs, intensive Summer Programs, college and financial aid workshops and individual counseling, mentoring, 21st Century Scholar events and scholarships based on merit and unmet need for graduates enrolling in SRSU.
Faculty development will 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 six years of programming, systemic and durable improvements in middle and high school instruction will benefit students for years to come.
The target outcomes for Project ReACH include but are not limited to:
- 2-5 percent annual increases in standardized test scores
- GPAs of 2.5 or more among 80 percent of participants
- 90 percent promotion and high school graduation rates
- In 2024, college enrollment rates equaling national averages
- GEAR UP Project ReACH
- MAB 104 C-73