The goal of GEAR UP is to help low-income students attend college by doing intensive college awareness programming beginning while students are in middle school. As part of the School District of Philadelphia’s new GEAR UP grant (2011-2016), PHENND is managing the college student tutor involvement with the AVID program for 25+ middle and high schools across the city. The School District selected the AVID program as one of its college access and success strategies; the AVID model requires that college student tutors work with small groups of students twice a week during an “AVID” class. K-16 Partnerships Coordinator Liz Shriver works with local colleges to identify, recruit, train, place, and manage 75+ college student tutors for this program.
In 2001-2003, in partnership with the School District of Philadelphia, PHENND offered some coordination services under the District’s first GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) grant. As part of GEAR UP, various colleges and universities provided services to local public schools, through summer and after school programming, teacher professional development, and enhanced college site visits. During this time, PHENND coordinated monthly meetings of the various GEAR UP IHE (Institutions of Higher Education) partners to strengthen communication and coordination. Participating IHE’s included Temple University, University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, La Salle University, Community College of Philadelphia, Rosemont College, and Valley Forge Military Academy.