Off-Canvas

GEAR UP at Marion City Schools

2017 Harding graduate signing success wall

The Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) at Marion City Schools program is dedicated to supporting early college preparation and awareness. Its purpose is to increase the number of students who are prepared to enter and succeed in post-secondary education.

The federally funded program is designed to work with Marion City Schools' students in grades 7th through 12th to support early college preparation and awareness. It does so through academic, career and culturally woven events and activities including tutoring, mentoring, academic preparation, financial education, and college scholarships.

GEAR UP's local partners include Marion City Schools, The Ohio State University at Marion, Marion Technical College, Tri-Rivers Career Center, the United Way of Marion County and Marion Area Chamber of Commerce.

GEAR UP at Marion City Schools falls under the umbrella of GEAR UP Ohio.

More information on how the program works with middle school students can be found on the Grant Middle School website.

Four Cornerstone Objectives

Objective 1: Increase the academic performance and preparation for post-secondary education primarily in the areas of math and reading with emphasis on reading across the content areas.

Objective 2: Increase the rate of high school graduation and participation in post-secondary education through a systematic program of student academic and personal development.

Objective 3: Increase GEAR UP students' and their families' knowledge of post-secondary education options, preparation, and financing.

Objective 4: Expand the GEAR UP schools' network of community partners to sustain support services for college and career participation.

GEAR UP Staff

Kelly M. Garrett, Site Director, kgarrett@mcspresidents.org

Corey Chatman, Advisor for students with last names R-Z, cchatman@mcspresidents.org
Jane Arnold, Advisor for students with last names H-Q, jarnold2@mcspresidents.org

Austin King, Advisor for students with last names A-G, aking@mcspresidents.org

GEAR UP checklists

9th Grade

  • Revisit your student profile on your Naviance account to update your information and continue planning: www.connection.naviance.com/hardhs (username is is your six digit student ID # and password is prexie)
  • Meet with your guidance counselor and GEAR UP advisor.
    • Your counselor and advisor know how to help you get the most out of your path through high school. Be sure to take some time during the school year to discuss post-high school plans with him or her.
  • Revisit and update your Academic and Career Pathways (form).
    • Consider how your interests and strengths may influence your long-term goals and how you can begin preparing now for your career goals by completing related education requirements.
    • Identify your interests, likes, and dislikes – not just in class but also in every area.
      • Of course these will change – often – but it’s good to keep thinking about the possibilities.
    • Explore programs available at your school where you can earn credentials or certificates during high school.
      • Harding currently offers Early Childhood Education, Exercise Science, Global Logistics (Business), and Health Technologies. Tri-Rivers hosts another 16 programs.
    • Explore courses offered in tenth grade for college credit.
    • Explore electives available in 10th grade and identify options to explore interests and expand strengths/skills.
    • Make sure you know which high school courses are required by colleges and that you’re taking the right classes as early as ninth grade. You can ask your counselor about what those “right” classes are.
  • Document your Career Exploration Activities (form).
    • This includes field trips, career speakers, job shadowing, internships, community service and service learning.
    • Talk to other people, such as your school counselor, teachers, recent college graduates who are working, professionals in the community, etc. about the careers you might find interesting. Your GEAR UP advisor will also help you explore.
  • Participate in extracurricular activities.
    • Academics aren’t everything. Explore your interest in a sport, school club, music or drama group, or community volunteer activity.
    • Remember that colleges would rather see real involvement in one activity instead of a loose connection to several.
    • If you’re interested in playing sports in college, be sure to talk to your Athletic Director and research the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) eligibility requirements. The NCAA requires completion of certain core courses; you can find the specifics at www.ncaaclearinghouse.net
  • Save for college.
    • It’s not too late (or early) to put money aside for college. Every little bit helps!
  • Explore summer opportunities.
    • Look for a job, internship, or volunteer position that will help you learn about a field of interest.

10th Grade

  • Revisit your student account at Naviance to update your information and continue planning. www.connection.naviance.com/hardhs (username is your six digit student ID number and password is prexie)
  • Complete the Career Profile to explore the relationship between personality and career interests
    • Identify your interests, likes, and dislikes – not just in class but also in every area.
      • Of course these will change – often – but it’s good to keep thinking about the possibilities.
  • Meet with your guidance counselor and GEAR UP advisor – again.
    • Be sure to meet with your school counselor to ensure that your course schedule is challenging enough to prepare you for college, as well as check into any prerequisites for advanced-level junior and senior year courses, and gain an understanding of College Credit Plus.
    • Your GEAR UP advisor will help you design an individualized plan for college or career.
    • Your GEAR UP advisor can also help you with the steps to prepare for College Credit Plus, like signing up for the ACT workshops, the ACT test, or the Accuplacer test.
  • Revisit and update your Academic and Career Pathways (forms).
    • Consider how your interests and strengths may influence your long-term goals and how you can begin preparing now for your career goals by completing related education requirements.
    • Explore programs available at your school where you can earn credentials or certificates during high school.
      • Harding currently offers Early Childhood Education, Exercise Science, Global Logistics (Business), and Health Technologies.
    • Explore courses offered in eleventh grade for college credit.
    • Explore electives available in eleventh grade.
      • Identity options to explore interests and expand strengths/skills.
  • Document your Career Exploration Activities (form).
    • This includes field trips, career speakers, job shadowing, internships, community service and service learning.
    • Talk to other people, such as your school counselor, teachers, recent college graduates who are working, professionals in the community, etc. about the careers your might find interesting. Your GEAR UP advisor will also help you explore.
  • Participate in school activities or volunteer efforts.
    • Extracurricular activities can help you develop time-management skills and enrich your high school experience.
  • Are you interested in attending a U.S. military academy?
    • If so, you should request a pre-candidate questionnaire.
  • Research college admissions criteria (i.e., G.P.A., entrance exam scores, essay, interview).
  • Attend college and career fairs.
    • The fairs often take place in the fall at your school or in your area.
  • Tour college campuses.
    • If possible, take advantage of vacation or other family travel time to visit colleges and see what they’re like.
    • Even if you have no interest in attending the college you are visiting, it will help you learn what to look for in a college.
  • Begin an initial draft of your resume and cover letter using the information you documented (i.e., contact information, education and training, experiences).
    • You can use this later to update and submit for a job, college or scholarship.
  • Save for college.
    • It’s not too late (or early) to put money aside for college. Every little bit helps!
  • Explore summer opportunities - again.
    • Look for a job, internship or volunteer position that will help you learn about a field of interest.

11th Grade Fall

  • Revisit your student account at Naviance to update your information and continue planning. www.connection.naviance.com/hardhs (username is your six digit student ID number and password is prexie)
  • Check your school resources.
    • Visit your guidance counselor. Mark the dates of college nights for students and families, as well as when college representatives will visit the school. Examine catalogs and guides.
  • See your GEAR UP advisor.
    • Your GEAR UP advisor will help you update your individualized plan for college or career.
    • Your advisor is here to help you sign up to take the ACT.
      • Be sure to check on ACT workshops and practice tests that can help you, too.
      • ACT fee waivers are available for students with financial need.
      • You can also take the ACT again in the spring or next fall.
  • Connect college search and majors to career interests.
    • Look at their websites. Use the supermatch college search in Naviance to research colleges. Add colleges to your thinking about list. Talk to friends, family members, teachers, and recent grads of your school now in college. List the college features that interest you.
    • Schedule college visits to tour campuses, meet with admissions, and talk with financial aid advisors.
  • Make a file to manage your college and career search.
    • Create a college and career comparison chart to evaluate your options and begin to make choices for your plans after high school.
    • If appropriate (for example, you’re interested in drama, music, art, etc.) start to gather material for a portfolio.
    • Update the draft of your resume and cover letter with any new experiences or accomplishments.
  • If you plan to continue playing a sport in college, register with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Eligibility Center.
  • Along with your family, do some research about how to obtain financial aid.
    • Use the financial aid calculator at www.fafsa4caster.com to estimate how much aid you might receive.
  • Save for college.
    • It’s not too late (or early) to put money aside for college. Every little bit helps!

11th Grade Spring

  • Meet with your guidance counselor and GEAR UP advisor – again.
    • Your guidance counselor will help make sure your senior schedule is preparing you for college and career options after high school.
    • Your GEAR UP advisor will help you update your individualized plan for college or career.
  • Explore programs available at your school where you can earn credentials or certificates during high school.
    • Harding currently offers Early Childhood Education, Exercise Science, Global Logistics (Business), and Health Technologies.
  • Visit some local colleges.
    • Large, small, public and private – get a feel for what works for you.
    • Take campus tours at all colleges you’re serious about, make appointments to have interviews with admissions counselors.
  • Update your Career Exploration Activities (form).
    • This includes field trips, career speakers, job shadowing, internships, community service, service learning, college visits, and college and career fairs.
  • Download applications.
    • Check application dates – large universities and select colleges may have early dates or rolling admission.
  • Explore electives available in 12th grade.
    • Identify options to explore interests and expand strengths/skills
  • If you are considering military academies or ROTC scholarships, contact your counselor before leaving school for the summer.
    • If you want a four-year ROTC scholarship, you should begin the application process the summer before your senior year.
  • If you are planning to continue playing a sport in college, register with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Eligibility Center.
  • Save for college.
    • It’s not too late (or early) to put money aside for college. Every little bit helps!
  • Explore summer opportunities - again.
    • Look for a job, internship or volunteer position that will help you learn about a field of interest.

12th Grade

  • Meet with your guidance counselor and GEAR UP advisor – again.
    • Your guidance counselor & GEAR UP advisor will help you stay on top of your individualized plan for college or career.
  • Save for college.
    • It’s not too late--or early--to put money aside for college. Every little bit helps!

AUGUST/SEPTEMBER

  • Update your Career Exploration Activities in Naviance. www.connection.naviance.com/hardhs (username is your six digit student ID number and password is prexie)
    • This includes field trips, career speakers, job shadowing, internships, community service, service learning, college visits, and college and career fairs.
  • Visit more colleges.
    • Large, small, public and private – get a feel for what works for you.
    • Take campus tours and at all colleges you’re serious about, make appointments to have interviews with admissions counselors.
  • Register for the ACT/SAT.
    • If you have already taken either test, review your results and find ways to improve your score.
      • STUDY! STUDY! STUDY!
  • Make a list of your top four-six colleges that you plan on applying to.
    • Discuss your decisions with your GEAR UP advisor to narrow down your decisions and to make sure they work for you.
    • Update your colleges I’m applying to list in Naviance.
  • If any of your college choices offer an early decision option and/or an early action, please be sure you know the difference between the two. Early decision can often be binding whereas early action is not. You will need to apply and plan ahead of time to complete everything that is needed for your application BY NOVEMBER 1ST.
    • Talk with your GEAR UP advisor to see if your school accepts an early decision and/or early action application.
  • Update your resume as you will need this information when you begin filling out college applications.
  • Register for the ACT/SAT one last time (if needed).
    • Make sure you double check your institution’s ACT/SAT score requirements to make sure your score meets this.

OCTOBER

  • If you plan to continue playing a sport in college, register with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Eligibility Center.
  • Start to fill out college applications (either online directly at the school’s website or use common app if several schools you are applying to accept it).
    • Consider having someone review your online application to help minimize errors and/or identify and areas you may have missed.
    • Make sure you communicate with your Guidance Counselor and let them know the college(s) you are applying to.
  • Begin writing rough drafts for college application essays and private scholarships (if acceptable).
  • Start looking around and asking teachers, school counselors, employers, pastors, etc. to see if they would be willing to write recommendation letters.
    • Ask them for the letter AT LEAST two or three weeks before it is needed.
    • When asking, make sure you have your recommendation form you completed with your GEAR UP advisors available to assist your writer in drafting your letter.
  • FAFSA season is here!
    • Meet with your GEAR UP advisor for help with filling out the FAFSA.
    • Invite Parent(s)/Guardian(s) to FREE FAFSA Nights held at OSUM for assistance.
    • *See separate FAFSA checklist for assistance and information on what will be needed to complete it.*
  • The FAFSA should be filled out by the priority deadline to ensure you are in line for financial aid. Be sure to write down the the FAFSA priority deadline for each school you are applying to.

NOVEMBER

  • Finish and submit college applications by Thanksgiving. Follow your college’s procedure for sending official transcripts.
    • Have your GEAR UP advisor review your completed application(s).

DECEMBER

  • Contact the admissions’ offices of the colleges you applied to ensure that they received your application, references, transcript, and test scores.
  • Don’t let Senioritis get the best of you. Higher grades help show colleges that you are serious about academics and your future.

JANUARY/FEBRUARY

  • Start searching for scholarships and begin the application process.
    • *See separate Scholarship checklist for more information.*

MARCH/APRIL

  • Continue to search and apply for scholarships that are available locally.
    • Ask your GEAR UP advisor and guidance counselor to assist you with your scholarship search!
  • Look for your Student Aid Report (SAR) in the mail, your email, or online in your FAFSA account.
    • Meet with you GEAR UP advisor to discuss your SAR and to update your FAFSA information.
  • You should begin receiving acceptance letters by now.
    • Consider visiting the colleges you’ve been accepted to, meet with your admissions counselor, visit the campus bookstore, and see if you can meet with some professors!
  • Compare your financial aid Award letters from different colleges with your GEAR UP advisor.
    • If needed, check your FAFSA to update and finalize your information.
  • Decide on where you would like to continue your education by picking your college and notify the school of your decision!
    • Pay your housing/acceptance fee no later than May 1st.

MAY/JUNE

  • Keep track of important deadlines with your college!
    • Financial aid
    • Scholarships
  • Ensure that your college has your final transcript
    • Talk to your guidance counselor about sending your official transcript.
  • Prexie Signing Day
    • Make sure you tell your GEAR UP advisor of your college of attendance, career plans, or military plans for #PrexieSigningDay2018.
  • Explore summer opportunities
    • Look for a job, internship or volunteer position that will help you learn about a field of interest.
  • ENJOY PROM!
  • GRADUATE!

Scholarship Checklist

  • Are you a member of any organizations, arts programs or are you involved in sports?
    • This could be an array of many student-based organizations such as FCCLA, FFA, Show Choir, Marching Band, Football, Track, or a professional organization such as ACEC (American Council of Engineering Companies). Often will you find that organizations/arts programs/or sports like these—and many more—offer scholarships for its members.
  • How is your GPA?
    • Many scholarships give lots of money to students with perfect GPAs but you may be surprised to find that you may qualify for certain ones even if you have a 3.0 GPA.
  • Are you a minority student, ethnically or racially?
    • Minority scholarships are out there and they are everywhere, specifically on scholarship websites.
  • Are you REALLY tall or REALLY short?
    • Believe it or not, there are scholarships for you if you’re over 6’2” or below 5’0”! Search “scholarships for tall/short students” on Google.
  • Do you have a physical illness, physical disability, or any sort of mental illness?
    • If you meet any of these criteria, there are scholarships out there just for you. CollegeScholarships.org has an excellent list on its website of scholarships that are available!
  • Have you visited your college’s financial aid page?
    • This one is probably the most overlooked out of all. Some scholarships are school specific which means that just by being an accepted student, you may qualify for the list of scholarships available! Be sure to check your departments webpage (i.e. your major of choice) to see if there are specific scholarships available for your field.
  • Are you religious?
    • Oftentimes, local churches or religious denominations give out scholarships to those students who choose to go to religious affiliated universities, those who choose to major in religious studies, and to those who can demonstrate involvement in their church. Search or ask around!
  • Are you a female?
    • That’s right, there are scholarships specifically out there for you ladies.
  • Do you have a drive and the ability to type?
    • Writers unite! There is a substantial amount of scholarships anyone can win. Go to the great power of Google.com and search “easy scholarships.”
  • Last but not least…do you have a weird last name or are you creative with duct tape, good at duck calling, or something bizarre and out if the ordinary?
    • There are a TON of unique scholarships out there that you may qualify for. Don’t forget to search your name on Google.com; all you have to do is type in your last name followed by the word “scholarship” and see what POPS up…you may be surprised. Be sure to visit fastweb.com as another helpful resource.

News and Announcements

Powered by Finalsite