The Gaining Early Awareness and Readinesss 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 works with students in grades 7th through 12th. It supports early college preparation through academic, career and culturally woven events and activities including tutoring, mentoring, academic preparation, financial education, and college scholarships.
Let's start talking college/careers now
GEAR UP advisors work with students to identify possible career interests. Advisors use Naviance, comprehensive K-12th grade college and career readiness software, to align student strengths and interests to post-secondary goals.
The goal is to start students thinking about college and careers so they have a better idea what high school courses match their career interests and goals.
Seventh-graders use the Naviance Career Cluster Finder. This programs is a self-survey that lets students explore, understand, and identify which of the 16 nationally identified career clusters may interest them.
Students select their top three interests and those choices help inform which groups students join in Grant activities like its college and career-themed field day and its career exploration day.
Eighth-graders complete the Naviance Strengths Explorer. This program, designed for students 10-14 years old, identifies each student’s three strongest emerging talents. The assessment includes:
- Explanations of these three talents
- Strategies to encourage their growth
- Action items to help students and their parents leverage strengths in the classroom and in life
GEAR UP works with Grant administrators and staff to organize the college and career themed field day and career exploration day.