South DakotaGaining Early Awareness andReadiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) Stacy Phelps, Senior Program Manager
SD GEAR UP MissionIncrease the number of financial aid eligible and American Indian students that are prepared to graduate from higher education
SD GEAR UP Goals• Increase the academic performance and preparation for post-secondary education of GEARUP students• Increase the rate of high school graduation and participation in post-secondary education for GEARUP students• Increase the educational expectations of GEARUP students, and increase student and family knowledge of post-secondary education options, preparation, and financing
Summer Honors Program Legacy• Begin back in 1992• 90% of participants are Native American• 100% graduation rate from high school• 87% placement rate in higher education – Additional 9% in military• 62% of students have graduate from or are still enrolled in higher education• 34 Alumni have received full ride scholarships – 24 Gates Millennium Scholars – 13 other Full Ride Scholars (Creighton Scholarships, Coca Cola, Packard Foundation, WISE Start)
Basis of the SD GEAR UP Model • SD GEARUP increases the number of Native American students that achieve success in higher education through a rigorous, pre-college enrichment program that is acceleration based and comprehensive by design • SD GEAR UP utilizing rigor, relationships, and relevance as foundation • SD GEAR UP identifies and engages stakeholders in partnership focused on the success of individual students • SD GEAR UP informs and empowers families about the realities, opportunities, and expectations of higher education. Families become engaged in their student’s academic career beginning in their sixth grade year
SDGEARUP Summer Honors• Six week summer residential pre- college enrichment program.• Served over 250 students in grades 9- 12 in summer 2012.• Includes students from all nine reservations in SD and over 35 schools.
SD GEAR UP Implementation Project will serve a cohort of 6,600 students in 6th - 12th grades each year over a 7-year period A federal matching grant (For each federal grant dollar spent must be matched by an in-kind partner dollar.) Activities: • Foundational service to all grade levels • Middle school to high school transition services to all grade levels • Middle school enhancements • Middle to high school transition services • High school enhancements • High school to post-secondary transition services • Other support services, i.e., professional development and parent services • Mini-grants to partner schools
SDGEARUP Partner Schools 24 Middle and 14 High schools
The New Three Rs• Rigor-all students need the chance to succeed at challenging classes, such as algebra, writing, and chemistry• Relevancy-courses and projects must spark student interest and relate clearly to their lives in today’s rapidly changing world• Relationships-all students need adult mentors who know them, look out for them, and push them to achieve
What we have learned• Students succeed when they are intrinsically motivated• Students succeed when they are academically prepared• Students succeed when they believe they can be successful• Students succeed when they are appropriately supported
Students succeed when they are intrinsically motivated• Emphasize importance of goals early and link goals to students interests• Establish short and long term goals• Help students to see themselves as part of an overall big picture• Emphasis on delayed rewards, de- emphasis on immediate rewards• Career awareness
Students succeed when they are academically prepared• Each year of school is important• Expose students to professional careers early with clear pathways to success• Plan and practice, practice, practice successful behaviors• Develop a Cohort Process of students- positive peer support• Rigorous acceleration based curriculum with high expectations for success
Students succeed who believe they can succeed• Mentoring and Modeling• Regular articulation of paths to success• Financial Aid, College Visits, Expectation that students will go to college.
Students succeed when they are appropriately supported• Families need to have a better understanding of what their students are going through so they know when to or not to intervene• Life skills with emphasis on personal finance, time management, and study habits• Navigation of educational systems, higher education and career awareness, and academic planning• Expose families to college life, prepare for separation anxiety, and inform of positive advocacy and support strategies
STUDENT ACTIVITIES• Middle school academic and summer program• High school programs: freshman transition, mentoring, summer programs• Higher Education Campus visits• Financial Aid and Scholarship application development assistance• Mentoring/social structure/web based community
FAMILY ACTIVITIES• Inform families about the quality opportunities in higher education here in South Dakota• Provide information to families focused on the value of higher education• Inform families about how to prepare and support their students’ path towards success in higher education• Work with families to inform them of all possible pathways to higher education-tribal colleges to BOR institutions, etc.• Develop an understanding of the financial realities and the financial potentials of higher education planning
SCHOOL ACTIVITIES• Update school staff about higher education planning opportunities and assist them in building awareness in families• Assist in school planning and leveraging activities focused on academic student success• Supply career planning software and professional development training• Focus on changing mindset of school staff and faculty that Native American students can succeed in higher education
COLLEGE ACTIVITIES• Inform higher education institutions staff and faculty of the unique Native student needs• Inform higher education institutions of strategies to effectively work with Native students and their families• Create a positive matriculation environment between SD GEAR UP schools and Higher Education institutions• Ensure higher education institutions are demonstrating all of the positive things they have to offer Native students• Develop multiple paths focused on Native students success, i.e. from tribal colleges to BOR institutions.
High School Transition Strategies…Students• Provide a rigorous academic environment with mandatory study halls at night.• Provide financial literacy courses for students on managing scholarship resources.• Develop mentoring support opportunities with American Indian College alumni from SD GEAR UP.
High School Transition Strategies…Students• Utilize an acceleration-based, extended residential summer enrichment model.• Use transitioning high school senior students as mentors and role models to younger students in summer programs--emphasizes leadership responsibility.• Develop positive peer cohort groups that go to college together.• Extended visits to college campus, three day versus three hour.• Extended visits include faculty and students from individual departments on campuses.
High School Transition Strategies for Families and Students• Provide intensive workshops on: – College awareness; – Career exploration; – Financial aid workshops; – Academic year calendar development on critical deadlines; – Scholarship application completion strategies (specifically targeting Gates Millennium, state and local scholarships); and – College entrance applications.• Host overnight college dorm stays for families.• Host family workshops focused on how to raise a college bound student.
Strategies for Higher Education Partners• Building pathways to higher education thru partnerships: tribal colleges, vocational schools, board of regents of institutions--articulation agreements and expanded dual enrollment programs.• Extended visits to college campus, three day versus three hour.• Detailed orientation visits with departments on each college campus.• Facilitate expanding efforts of SD GEAR UP on more post secondary campuses.• Coordinating statewide discussions on Native American student recruitment, retention, and success plan.