Colorado Gear Up
We're a federally-funded grant program placing full-time advisors in more than two dozen schools across the state. We start with middle-school students, teaching them college basics and taking them for campus visits. By high school, our students are taking college courses and building confidence in the future.
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What We Do: Our Approach to College Prep 1. INTENSE ADVISING We assign two dozen advisors to work full-time in middle and high schools across the state, from Alamosa to Greeley. Advisors recruit roughly 100 students per grade level, starting with eighth-graders. They serve as mentors and provide students with one-on-one academic advising. Middle school students begin participating in what's known as early remediation - those classes that colleges want students to complete before they begin 100-level college courses. Typically, by their sophomore year of high school, our students are enrolling in college classes. 2. EARLY REMEDIATION Roughly a third of Colorado students entering college will be required to take remedial classes in math, reading or writing - and sometimes all three. Remedial classes don't carry college credit and financial aid won't cover them. That means students must spend time and money before they can accumulate college credit. Colorado GEAR UP and Adams State University created a solution. In fall 2012, two middle schools near Denver began offering those remedial courses online and it's expanded to other schools. GEAR UP pays for the computers, schools provide certified teachers and Adams State records a transcript of classes successfully completed. So our students have proof they're college-ready. See Osvaldo's story. 3. DUAL ENROLLMENT Students who are the first in their families to go to college, which describes most GEAR UP students, often have concerns about their ability to be successful. This is one of many reasons Colorado GEAR UP pays for our students to begin college courses in high school. They typically do well and this builds confidence - as well as saving them money and time in college. Colorado GEAR UP students graduate high school and enter college having earned an average of 17 college credits. Some students accumulate far more.
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