What is GEAR UP?

  • San Marcos GEAR UP logo To College and Beyond “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, 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 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 will work with business and community partners such 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

How Does GEAR UP Help Students

    • Opportunities for before-school, during-school, and after-school academic tutoring and homework assistance
    • Access to advanced & rigorous curricula such as Pre-AP, AP, CTE, and Dual Credit courses
    • Opportunities for credit recovery, extended learning, and accelerated learning for targeted groups of GEAR UP cohort students
    • Counseling/advising services in terms of core curriculum, non-core curriculum, financial literacy, and college knowledge in assistance with GEAR UP staff
    • Off-campus visits to college tours and/or college student shadowing, job site visits, and educational trips
    • Summer intervention or bridge courses and summer camps/programs for college knowledge and readiness activities.
    • Mentorship Program where our students are paired with our faculty, district members, college students and businesses in our San Marcos community

Quick Links

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What's coming up with GEAR UP?

    • Job shadowing/site visit at local businesses
    • Summer Coding Camp
    • Summer Algebra Bridge available for 7th graders going into Algebra I in 8th grade
    • College visit to Texas A&M University
    • Opportunities for Families-
      • College Awareness
      • Counseling/advising services including financial aid
      • Virtual college tour
      • One-to-one device information session