• “Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs” (GEAR UP) is a competitive grant program of the U.S. Department of Education that increases the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education by providing community-education partnerships to offer support services to high-poverty, middle and high schools.

    Awarded in September 2017, the To College & Beyond GEAR UP project is spearheaded by the Institute for Public School Initiatives (IPSI), housed at the College of Education, through The University of Texas at Austin.

    SMCISD is one of eight school districts in the Greater Austin and San Antonio region who qualified for the grant. The program serves all of our current 2017-2018, 7th graders, and will follow them through high school, plus one year after graduation.

    GEAR UP provides critical early college awareness and support activities such as: tutoring, mentoring, academic preparation, financial education and college scholarships All of these activities will improve the access to a higher education for low income, minority and disadvantaged first-generation students and their families. GEAR UP funds can also be used to provide college scholarships to low-income students.

    The grant works with business and community partners such The San Marcos Chamber of Commerce, Texas Instruments, Princeton Review, AVID, ACT, All Aboard Tours. Additionally, the grant will also partner with higher education institutions such as Austin Community College, Huston-Tillotson University, Texas State University and The University of Texas at San Antonio. #GEARUPWorks

    Visit the GEAR UP Goodnight website for more information.