During the week of September 22, GEAR UP Hawai‘i celebrates National GEAR UP Week 2014. This week commemorates the continuing success of Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP), a college access program funded by the U.S. Department of Education to provide students and families the services they need for college success. Since its inception in 1999, GEAR UP has increased educational outcomes for millions of low-income students across the United States, including 16,000 students served each year by GEAR UP Hawai‘i.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank the many partners for their hard work and dedication to supporting the GEAR UP mission to help eliminate achievement gaps among our state’s traditionally underrepresented groups in higher education.
In partnership with the Hawai‘i State Department of Education (HIDOE), University of Hawai‘i System (UH) as well as the government, non-profit, and private sectors, GEAR UP Hawai‘i has:
- Provided support to the Class of 2013 graduating Step Up Scholars who pledged to complete a more rigorous college and career curriculum during high school. Of these scholars, 23% earned the Board of Education Recognition Diploma (BOERD), 1.5 times the number of graduates who earned the BOERD statewide.
- Supported 2014 summer bridge programs to build academic preparation, college and career readiness skills and family engagement at the following middle and high schools: Honoka‘a High and Intermediate School, Kaimuki High School, Ka Waihona o Ka Na‘auao Charter School, McKinley High, Wai‘anae Intermediate School, Wai‘anae High School, and Washington Middle School serving over 275 students total.
- Partnered with HIDOE and UH campuses to increase the availability and accessibility of Running Start courses offered at both high school and college campuses. With GEAR UP support, eight Running Start courses serving 105 students were implemented in 2013-14.
- Awarded 531 Running Start scholarships to low-income students totaling $140,000 to be used to pay for tuition, fees, and books for a 3- or 4-credit dual enrollment (Running Start) course.
- Coordinated the 55 by ’25 public awareness campaign to generate support for a statewide goal of 55% of working age adults having a 2- or 4-year college degree by 2025. The campaign consisted of television, radio, print advertising as well as social media and website communications made possible through partnerships with local corporate sponsors.
- Supported College Goal 808 events, which provided regional, hands-on FAFSA completion workshops for students and family members. From 2012-13 to 2013-14, participation in the program grew by 156% from eight to 15 schools reaching over 2,000 students and family members.
- Implemented year two of College Application and Exploration Season (CAES) to encourage students to start the college application process early with a goal that every senior will complete a college application prior to their high school graduation. Thirteen schools from O‘ahu and the Big Island took part in CAES, which more than doubled the number of participating schools from last year’s pilot year. A total of 1,199 seniors from nine low-income schools on O‘ahu and the Big Island participated including: Castle High School, Farrington High School, Kahuku High School, Kailua High School, Ke Kula ‘o ‘Ehunuikaimalino, Konawaena High School, McKinley High School, Nanakuli High and Wai‘anae High School.
- Worked with ten UH campuses on O‘ahu, Big Island, Maui, and Moloka‘i to provide 26 middle and high schools with transition support services. Key services included 86 informational workshops and events about applying to college, financial aid, and/or college success; 19 campus visits and/or showcases; 17 financial aid advising or application support events; eight mentorship workshops, and four peer mentor programs serving a total of 14,821 students and 489 parents.
- Designed and implemented Senior Transition Day as a follow-up to the College Application and Exploration Season (CAES) application events. The event prepared seniors for college enrollment and next steps after high school. All six two-year and four-year UH campuses on O‘ahu participated, hosting 569 seniors from five low-income high schools — Castle High School, Kaimuki High School, Nanakuli High and Intermediate School, Roosevelt High School, and Wai‘anae High School.
- Supported seven UH campuses to provide student support services to incoming and first year low-income students, including, but not limited to: 45 new student orientations (NSO) serving 2,443 students; 38 first-year freshman group activities and/or student groups engaging 2,282 students; 69 student success workshops (e.g. stress management, online learning, financial aid, etc.) provided to 1,774 first year students; two intrusive advising initiatives supporting 70 first year students; and Leeward Community College’s first year peer mentor program serving 998 first year students.
Thanks to Hawaii P-20 for compiling this list of GEAR UP Hawaii achievements in celebration of National GEAR UP Week 2014.