New College Readiness Interactive Map Launches

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The CCRS Interactive State Map presents the broad landscape of college and career readiness. The map provides a snapshot of key college and career readiness policies, including:

1) College and Career Ready Definitions
2) College and Career Ready Metrics
3) Programs and Structures
– See more at here.

The profiles for each state were developed from a variety of sources, including publically available information from the websites of state education agencies, the U.S. Department of Education, and private organizations, and are not intended to be a comprehensive view of all college and career readiness policies, programs, and initiatives within each state. Links to additional information and resources for each state related to college and career readiness also are included. The state map is updated on a regular basis to ensure state profiles reflect accurate, up-to-date information. For more information about our state map or guidance on how to use this resource, please contact ccrscenter@air.orgEmail links icon

The College and Career Readiness and Success Center (CCRS Center) was launched October 1, 2012, under a five-year grant from the United States Department of EducationExternal Links icon (ED) to the American Institutes for ResearchExternal Links icon (AIR) along with our five lead partners—the American Youth Policy Forum, the College Board, Quill Research Associates, the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium, and the Forum for Youth Investment. The Center’s mission is to help states and other CCRS stakeholders better inform, align, and support efforts to ensure that all students are ready for success in college and careers.

 

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2015 GEAR UP National Conference Wrap Up

 July 19-22, 2015 San Francisco, California

The 2015 GEAR UP Annual Conference took take place July 19–22, 2015 at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square in San Francisco, California.  The Annual Conference actualized the theme: Together we Rise and featured five plenary sessions, approximately 135 concurrent sessions, and a variety of pre- and post-conference events.

 

“Awesome NCCEP conference this year. My team was fully Engaged, Excited and Energized! The California delegation is mobilized to excel and prove why GEAR UP is the most effective college readiness program in the nation.  We will be sharing what we learned at the conference, focused on improving service to schools, students and families throughout our State.”
 Shelley Davis, Director

California GEAR UP
At the conference, California GEAR UP convened the second ever meeting of all the GEAR UP programs across the state, now called the California Partnership Initiative. The California Partnership Initiative (CPI) is a project of the California State GEAR UP Program. Since 1999, the California State program has enjoyed working in collaboration with GEAR UP partnership projects to reach our mutual goals: increasing college and career readiness for low income students and improving the college going culture in schools.  CPI was formalized at the National GEAR UP conference in Washington, DC in July 2014 and continued at the national conference this year. The CPI planning committee was formed and representatives from the partnership projects met again at the NCCEP CBW in Philadelphia in February 2015. This initiative brings together the 19 active partnership projects and the state grant to strengthen our efforts for ALL students throughout California.
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California GEAR UP was recognized this year as a leading program for both innovation and quality services, which was on display at a multitude of sessions from Parent Engagement in conjunction with PIQE to National GEAR UP week, to Common Core strategies, and the amazing work of Vista Preps focus on student teacher relationships.
“The conference was a wonderful reminder of the power of community.  Our leadership team was met with a warm welcome by GEAR UP personnel at every turn, whose genuine interest lies within their hearts as seen through their actions.  We were able to share ideas, which when  coupled with a genuine sharing of like-minded people whose focus is all the same allows one to come away with the architecture for the labor of passion that provides support to move mountains.”
Isaac Scharaga
Vista Preparatory Academy Principal/Conference Presenter
“In the spirit of Ranjit Sidhu, President and CEO of the National Council for Community and Education Partnerships, my reflections from the conference align with the his words on conference theme “we must celebrate our impact and rich history as a social movement, but at the same time, strive for even greater heights.” With the conference theme of unity: Together We Rise, the conference did inspire and motivate through speakers like Mary Mazzio and Sal Khan.”
Kay Coelho
California GEAR UP
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One of the highlights of the conference every year is the GEAR UP Alumni Leadership Academy. In order to better support the GEAR UP mission nationwide, the National Council for Community and Education Partnerships (NCCEP) created the GUALA program to show the GEAR UP dream actualized.  GUALA works to advance college and career readiness in communities by providing 12 months of training for Alumni Leaders on topics related to peer-to-peer outreach and mentoring, social media engagement, public speaking, and education policy. It’s really cool to see the academy members talk about their struggles and demonstrate their resiliency.
Sean Brennan
California GEAR UP
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The GEAR UP Youth Congress is a youth leadership program that implements a student-focused curriculum, blending leadership development with life skills and strategies for increased learning. Offered during the NCCEP/GEAR UP Annual Conference each July, GEAR UP students who participate in the Youth Congress have the opportunity to experience a professional conference while interacting and learning with other students from around the country.

“The experience was great! I am a HUGE
fan of GEAR UP and would like to thank
everyone who made this possible. I may
have only been here a few days but the
experience will stay with me forever!
Hope I’m invited again.”

— Youth Congress 10th Grader

As in past conferences, we were all exhausted from the extensive professional development, collegially working with other GEAR UP professionals, and learning more about effective practices from programs across the country. Now we return to our own organization to share what we learned and to be more effective in the powerful work we do every day.

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2015 California GEAR UP Program Update

HeartGU

 

The goal of the California GEAR UP Program is: 

To develop and sustain the organizational capacity of middle schools to prepare all students for high school and higher education through a systemic network of support for adults who influence middle school students, specifically their counselors, faculty, school leaders and families. This expanded capacity is expected to result in a higher proportion of students, particularly from backgrounds and communities that have not historically pursued a college education, enrolling and succeeding in higher education.

The ultimate outcome expected from this Program is that a higher proportion of students will be prepared to enroll and succeed in advanced courses in middle school and high school and enter and graduate with a degree from a higher educational institution.

This Program has three modes of services to support schools in reaching this goal:

  • direct service to a cohort of students through the Bridge for Students Model;
  • services to a cohort of middle schools through the Whole School Model; and,
  • services to all California middle schools through the Educational System Transformation Model.

Bridge for Students Model:

The Bridge for Students Model is characterized by collaboration, student progress tracking, and data sharing among a family of schools across educational levels in order to prepare all cohort students for college. The objective guiding this model is:

Objective 1: To Increase by 20 Percent the Number of Bridge Students Achieving at Grade-Appropriate Levels in Mathematics as Compared to the Respective 2010–11 Class at the School.

The first step in building this bridge occurred when 631 sixth graders at five elementary schools were introduced to a college-going culture in the 2010–11 year. Today, these students are tenth graders at Valley High School in the Elk Grove Unified School District and will graduate from this school in 2017, the final year of this grant cycle.

These high school students received research-supported, grade-appropriate services to enhance their opportunity for success, especially in mathematics, including:

  • individualized tutoring in Mathematics three or five days a week, depending on the course;
  • enrollment in Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) courses and Career Technical Pathways through Health Teach and Project Lead the Way;
  • field trips that expose students to various collegiate environments and careers;
  • support from GEAR UP staff to monitor student academic progress and facilitate success at the school;
  • career exploration with staff in areas of interest, job shadowing, and mentors in connected fields;
  • monthly workshops focused on college and career readiness;
  • collaboration with schools in the feeder pattern, local businesses, the Elk Grove School Unified School District, and Consumnes River College to offer more rigorous coursework, create a college-going culture, increase cross-articulation opportunities in Advanced Placement/Honors coursework, and support, place, and adopt Integrated Mathematics.

Whole School Model:

The Whole School Model is characterized by services, staff, and resources designed to create systemic change at a school site. This model is predicated on systemic change theory and research about effective learning communities that demonstrates the importance of planning time, the principal as an instructional leader, and the critical nature of using data to inform decision-making. The objective guiding this model is:

Objective 2: To Increase by Five Percent Each Year the Number of Students at the Participating GEAR UP Schools Who Are Performing at Grade-Appropriate Levels in Mathematics as Compared to the Performance of Students at These Schools in the 2010–11 Year.

In May of 2012, 48 low-income schools across the state were selected to participate in the Implementation Phase of this six-year grant cycle. A School Services Coach has been assigned to each school with the responsibility for assisting to coalesce a GEAR UP School Leadership Team composed of the principal, other school administrators, guidance counselors, teachers in core academic content areas, a parent, and a counselor.

In the fall of 2014, GEAR UP schools attended regional Principal and Leadership Team Institutes to provide opportunities to learn from each other and problem solve together about common concerns and issues. These events were customized to meet the needs of participating schools within each region and in alignment with focused areas of growth identified on the School Self-Assessment Rubric (SSAR) developed by the UCLA Graduate School of Education. The SSAR serves as a yardstick to assess school change over time and guide the development of a college-going culture at the school site. These Institutes were followed by Regional Events in spring 2015 focused on classroom practices for implementing Common Core State Standards, developing region-wide professional learning communities, and proactive whole school engagement to address instructional equity for ALL students.

GEAR UP schools in the cohort have continued to make progress with the implementation of the Mathematics Diagnostic Testing Project (MDTP) on the Daskala online platform. This diagnostic test measures student readiness for mathematics courses ranging from Pre-Algebra to Calculus. During this year, GEAR UP Coaches and MDTP Directors have collaborated to monitor progress at the school site. This online tool provides teachers timely diagnostic data to identify specific topics and skills that need more attention, allows them to develop formative assessments, and informs and evaluates instruction and curricula to prepare students for success in mathematics courses needed for college and career readiness.

In October 2013, the Program launched a pilot project in partnership with College Board to implement SpringBoard — the Board’s college and career readiness program in English/Language Arts for grades 6-12.  The pilot is being conducted with four GEAR UP schools and includes teacher training, progress monitoring through classroom visitations, data collection, and critical understanding by schools of the nature of their learning and the reasons for doing so. Teachers have access to SpringBoard coaches, grade level seminars, and an online digital community for peer connection and support, including videos and instructional resources.

In May 2014, school principals observed teacher commitment to the depth and rigor of the college preparatory curriculum, and thereafter, the schools adopted the SpringBoard mathematics program school-wide. As a result of this pilot, the teachers from the SpringBoard ELA pilot and Mathematics program will be attending the SpringBoard Train-the-Trainer Conference where schools will send their most effective SpringBoard teachers and instructional coaches to become district-endorsed teachers. Other GEAR UP schools have expressed an interest in SpringBoard and will be participating beginning in the 2015-16 year.

 Education System Transformation Model:

An Educational System Transformation Model expands the program’s reach in promoting a college-going culture for all students and offers opportunities to impact the educational enterprise as a whole, albeit less intensively. The objective of this model is:

Objective 3: To Increase by Five Percent in Six Years the Number of Students in the State Completing Grade-Appropriate Mathematics Courses as Compared to 2010–11 Statewide Outcomes.

In July 2014, program staff met with California GEAR UP Partnership project staffs at the National Council for Community and Educational Partnerships (NCCEP) GEAR UP Conference in Washington, DC. The result of these meetings was the launching of the California Partnership Initiative.  Through this initiative, the California delegation met again in February 2015 at the NCCEP Capacity Building workshop with plans to meet at the 2015 National Conference.

Another activity undertaken through this model was the co-sponsoring of the Sixth Annual Professional Development Summit in Oakland in January 2015. This two-day event featured state and national leaders and educators to discuss the social justice agenda for African- American students.

Finally, GEAR UP strengthened its partnership with the California Academic Partnership Program (CAPP) — a State initiative to improve instruction in secondary schools through collaborative efforts involving higher education. CAPP funded an initiative this year that included four high schools to which GEAR UP middle schools matriculate students in order to sustain a college-going culture for those students, particularly in grades 10 and 11.

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CaliforniaColleges.edu Announces New Webinars

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CaliforniaColleges.edu is the one-stop website for information about higher education in California for students, counselors, and parents. It has been developed in collaboration with the New WindowCalifornia State University (CSU)New WindowUniversity of California (UC)New WindowCalifornia Community Colleges (CCC)New WindowAssociation of Independent California Colleges and Universities (A I C C U), and the New WindowCalifornia Department of Education. CaliforniaColleges.edu includes the following features:

  • Explore Colleges and Careers
    • Explore the full range of accredited public and non-profit colleges and universities in California and nationwide
    • Determine the careers that best match your skills and interests
    • Match schools and majors with your career interests
  • Plan and Pay for College
    • See which high school classes are needed to meet admission requirements
    • Learn about ways to pay for college
    • Create a personal portfolio to track your college planning
  • College Admissions
    • Gather information about the admission requirements at all California colleges and universities
    • Apply online to many of the colleges and universities in California

Webinars Announced:

There are two upcoming webinars of value provided by CCGI in for  Californiacolleges.edu, please be aware that you do have to sign up for the webinars at least 24 hours in advance of the start time to be permitted access.
First Webinar is geared towards anyone who has Administrator rights in the Professional Center as opposed to Professional rights.   If you are new to the Professional Center it is a great way to figure out the difference between the two user roles so you can decide how to assign user roles accordingly on campus.
The Professional Center for Administrators:
Tuesday, May 12, 2015 from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM (PDT)
Second Webinar is geared towards anyone at a school site who is interested in data collection and contextualizing the date to further support students growth. It will help you understand how the student activities on the site help translate and correlate into useful data.
Utilizing Pro Center Reports to Gather End-of-Year 

Thursday, May 14, 2015 from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM (PDT)

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GEAR UP Capacity Building Workshop Strengthens Programs

GEAR UP Capacity Building Conference, Philadelphia, PA February 8-11, 2015

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National calls emphasizing the importance of capacity building for sustainable development of grant funded education programs have been numerous.  The U.S. Department of Education in partnership with NCCEP continues to invest time and attention to capacity building for successful programs like GEAR UP.  Since 1999, the importance of these efforts has been embedded in the proposals and goals of NCCEP with support and programming based on continuous feedback, research, and professional best practices.

The February 2015 capacity building workshops were held in Philadelphia, PA the hometown of Congressman Chaka Fattah, the founder of the GEAR UP program.  Full-day training modules were designed based on pre-survey information and input from NCCEP and feedback from GEAR UP directors.  Participants were required to submit a self-assessment questionnaire in advance of the training to introduce them to the learning goals and to ensure maximum effectiveness based on participants responses. Time was provided during the sessions for facilitated networking to encourage building peer networks, deeper learning, and to create connections between programs.

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Photo: Congressman Chaka Fattah with Kay Coelho and Brad Trimble

Why Conference Attendance Matters

Whether you are a newcomer to GEAR UP or a seasoned participant, capacity building presents multiple approaches to enlighten, inspire and inform your work.  Many conferences concentrate tremendous efforton the concrete material outcomes and far less on practical, tangible and significant outcomes that do not translate monetarily: the feeling of belonging to a group with shared professional interests and commitment to the work, applicable content knowledge from presentations and vendors, networking and interacting withpeers and experts in the field.  Attending presentations, when there are so many to choose from can be a hit-or-miss adventure.  The value of this experience is unique to each individual which is why NCCEP works hard to fully engage the audience in these conferences.  

“When I was a GEAR UP coordinator, attending conferences gave me more confidence and assurance because I learned that I was doing the right thing in my work and also that I could “step things up” by trying other methods, incorporating technology, and doing more investigating through further research. These simple changes can have a powerful effect on your professional philosophy and practices, often without your being aware of it.  It also serves to remind you of the importance of remaining open to change, being a team player and sharpening your skills.”

Sean Brennan-California GEAR UP

CBW1.jpg-largePhoto: Participants at opening session of the conference

Building Capacity

Education professionals typically use the term capacity in reference to the perceived abilities, skills, and expertise of school leaders, teachers, faculties, and staffs—most commonly when describing the “capacity” of an individual or school to execute or accomplish something specific, such as leading a school-improvement effort or teaching more effectively. The term may also encompass the quality of adaptation—the ability of a school or educator to grow, progress, or improve. Common variations include educator capacity, leadership capacity, school capacity, and teacher capacity, among others.  The impact of this experience is described here by a first time attendee, Kay Coelho:

I am grateful for all that I learned and the connections made at the conference. I believe that the California GEAR UP program… will in many cases have the fortunate opportunity to be the “first” to inspire and motivate youth and communities.  The first to give a member of our communities confidence to understand their individuality, attend a higher education institute and change the course of their life. Be it a young person, a single mother, an only parent, or a community member. We will give an individual their first opportunity to succeed at college and a career.

Overall the Capacity Building Workshop in Philadelphia gave me ideas on how we can collaborate more efficiently together as a team. It gave me insight toward understanding that in order to build a strong team, we need to understand each other’s’ compelling WHY and complement each other. We should work with each other and not against each other, to be the first to inspire and motivate, and change the course of an individual’s future.

Once we understand WHY we do this work, we can explore HOW we do it, create a plan and inspire the compelling WHY for others.

Kay Francesca Coelho-California GEAR UP

California Partnership Initiative (CPI): A Call to Action

“We should be complementary, and not in competition,” said Whole School Services Coach Brad Trimble, during the California Partnership Initiative meeting hosted by California State GEAR UP the first evening of the conference.  According to Shelley Davis, Director of California GEAR UP: “The initiative has been created to formalize the collaboration of the State GEAR UP program and GEAR UP partnership projects.  This statewide effort will strengthen our network and build upon our good work in service to schools, students, families and communities.  We must be intentional about working together to improve school culture and to ensure college and career readiness for all students.”

CPI was designed in response to the national call for GEAR UP programs to operate more co-operatively within regions, to create a support network of professionals with similar work, challenges, and programatic goals. A long standing component of GEAR UP has been innovation and creative program design.

“I feel it is important for the California GEAR UP programs to collaborate because together we can achieve more. We strengthen each other, learn from each other, and provide support for each other. I have 30 years of experience with college access programs, including TRIO, and I know that these programs and the staff who provide direct services would not have been as effective as they are without collaboration and support from other programs staff. We cannot operate in silos. We can create bigger and more lasting change together;  we can influence people, especially policy makers, together.  Ultimately this collaboration will benefit our students, our families, and our State.”

Sue B. Huizinga–Associate Director, Regional Services College OPTIONS/GEAR UP Programs

palomar

Photo: Palomar College GEAR UP Team at CPI Meeting

CPI will follow up with plans to meet at the National GEAR UP Conference in July in San Francisco.  For more information on the State GEAR UP programs and GEAR UP partnership projects check out the interactive map on our website at www.castategearup.org

Sessions Designed by and for Attendees

In the true spirit of capacity building, tracks were selected based on the feedback from the 2014 CBW and in direct response to identified needs of GEAR UP program participants.  Ahead of the conference, all registrants responded to a series of questions and surveys that directed the content and format of the available sessions.

The 2015 CBW workshop tracks were as follows: The Directors’ Network, GEAR UP 101, Parent Engagement, Evaluation Showcase, Grant Management, Advancing College Readiness, Strategies for First-Year Post-Secondary Success, The Coordinators’ Catalyst Network, Helping Students Earn College Credit in High School, and Closing Gaps in STEM Learning and Careers.  The CBW also offered five general sessions and several roundtable discussion sessions.

Directors Track

“I was fortunate to co-facilitate a Roundtable session with the program director from Massachusetts GEAR UP, Robert Dais. We chose an open space format that flowed very well as participants discussed common challenges and successes across four areas of our work as State programs. Even though the session was on the last day and just before lunch, the room was full and energy was high with lots of sharing.  We collected ideas from this session that will be shared with NCCEP and with our program in regional events and through the California Partnership Initiative.  We all bring teams from our staffs to this conference and bring back valuable information, tools and ideas, many of which stem from professional connections made with other participants from throughout the country.”

Shelley Davis-California GEAR UP 

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Photo:  Participants enjoy networking at the conference

Roundtable discussions are among the most flexible format offered at the conference, and may look quite different from session to session. The one thing that they have in common is that each allows for extended discussion among a small group. Roundtables are excellent venues for giving and receiving targeted feedback, having in-depth discussions, and meeting colleagues with similar interests. Grantees from CA were very impressed with this format and felt the discussion allowed them to gain a deeper understanding of their work while learning from the professionals in the room. Many remarked this was the highlight of the conference as it helped them learn while creating a network that will support them in their work at home.

Materials and other information from the conference sessions are found on the NCCCEP website. 

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California GEAR UP: Partnering for Student Success

Cacolleges

By Christian Smith – CA GEAR UP Project Coordinator

California GEAR UP: Partnering for Student Success

The CA GEAR UP partnership with the California College Guidance Initiative (CCGI) has had great results during the 2014-2015 school year. By working in collaboration with PIQE (Parent Institute for Quality Education) we now offer GEAR UP middle schools and their feeder high schools on-site training, utilizing Californiacolleges.edu as a tool to engage students and families and help promote a college going culture on campus.  Students will receive a systematic baseline of guidance and support through this technological tool for the college and career planning and preparation process.

With the launch of the new CaliforniaColleges.edu website in January of 2014, we are committed to helping educators and community partners realize the full potential of the new site and the added professional center, a resource that allows educators to communicate, track and review students progress.  CaliforniaColleges.edu has been designed as the one-stop resource for information about higher education in California focusing on students, counselors, and parental user roles. CA GEAR UP is excited to share this tool via trainings on how to best utilize the site with partners like PIQE and CEP (Coalition for Education Partnerships) in addition to several of our 48 middle schools. With more training scheduled through the rest of this year, we are always looking for innovative ways to use technology to promote college and career opportunities.

Over 2/3 of the GEAR UP cohort of 48 middle schools have been trained on the resource, resulting in over 7,000 accounts being created and 64,000 page views on the site.  CA GEAR UP students have been utilizing the Interest Profiler Survey, a Holland Code (RIASEC) Test, to determine careers and vocational choice based upon personality types.  From there the students can link careers to college majors and schools that offer those majors. To help further the conversation with students about careers and goal setting, PIQE has incorporated californiacolleges.edu into workshops 5 and 6 of their family focused curriculum.  Family members are working with their students, reviewing student results and engaged in conversation about students’ interest and future plans.

With more CaliforniaColleges.edu trainings scheduled and PIQE classes on the horizon, this partnership continues to show clear and positive outcomes for schools, families and students.  Check out the new and improved site today at CaliforniaColleges.edu!

 

Learn more on the California GEAR UP website and follow on Twitter and Facebook.

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Sunnymead Middle School Hosts GPA Reward BBQ

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For the second consecutive year, California GEAR UP middle school Sunnymead hosted a GPA rewards BBQ for students who earned a 3.0 or higher.

We had 612 students with 3.0 and above for first trimester attend the BBQ!

This is the second year the event was held and the students were very excited and motivated. They enjoyed the food, music, and games played with friends and the DJ.  

This event highlighted college preparedness starts in middle school and our students are aware of the A-g requirements. They need to have the grades for high school graduation and acceptance to college. This is why we do such a big event to reward our students for 3.o and above to acknowledge they are on the right track.

-Karon Woolsey,  6th Grade Math Teacher and GEAR UP Site Contact

California GEAR UP middle schools host events to promote college going culture, understanding of the A-G requirements, and to provide additional resources and support for whole school communities, students and families.

Sunnymead is in it’s 4th year as a California GEAR UP school and is located in Moreno Valley, CA. Check out their GEAR UP page on their website.

Special thanks to Karon for this story!

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Obama unveils a new plan for Community College students.

 

 

obama

 

President Obama’s commitment to low and middle-income students was evident during his State of the Union address Tuesday night.  His appeal to the nation included a bold plan to lower the cost of community college attendance to “zero”.  This plan, first announced on January 8th, strives to make the first two years of community college free for students of any age who earn a “C+” average, attend school at least halftime, and are making “steady progress” toward degree completion.  This program would be available at community colleges with academic programs designed to transfer to public four-year colleges and universities.

 

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The President’s proposal comes at a time when state higher education funding is at its lowest levels in recent history.  The enduring degradation of per pupil spending is evidenced by College Board’s 2014 Trends in College Pricing report.  Such state spending policy is having the greatest effect on low and middle-income students who can least afford higher education fee and tuition increases.  Since 1985 the inflated-adjusted sticker price of tuition and fees at public two-year community colleges has risen 250%.  As such, President Obama’s plan stands in opposition of this ongoing and problematic trend in higher education.

 

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Join Us for 2015 GEAR UP Capacity Building Conference

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#gearupworks #cbw15

The 2015 NCCEP/GEAR UP Capacity-Building Workshop will take place February 8-11, 2015 at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown in historic and vibrant Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The NCCEP/GEAR UP Capacity-Building Workshop is a distinctly different learning opportunity from the NCCEP/GEAR UP Annual Conference. The CBW is where grantees roll up their sleeves and have extended conversations with their peers about how to advance the cause of college access.

The daily learning tracks are designed to provide information, practical tips, and tools that you and your GEAR UP team can incorporate into your current projects. Networking opportunities allow you to connect with GEAR UP professionals from other projects to share ways to strengthen your GEAR UP programming. Roundtables are offered as another venue to explore ideas with colleagues in a smaller, informal setting.Our colleagues at the U.S. Department of Education will also provide additional training for all current grantees.

  • Interact with and learn from top experts and experienced GEAR UP professionals in hands-on workshop tracks highlighting high-priority issues in the field, innovative programs, leading research, and practical tools and strategies.
  • Engage in invaluable peer-to-peer learning and networking opportunities.

Click here to access the Advance Program, which includes a detailed overview of the 2015 CBW, information about the schedule and content for each workshop, and speaker bios.  (The Advance Program will be updated on an on-going basis. Check back on this site to get the most up-to-date detailed program for the CBW.)

Click here to register today!

The 2015 CBW workshop tracks are as follows: The Directors’ Network, GEAR UP 101, Parent Engagement, Evaluation Showcase, Grant Management, Advancing College Readiness, Strategies for First-Year Post-Secondary Success, The Coordinators’ Catalyst Network, Helping Students Earn College Credit in High School, and Closing Gaps in STEM Learning and Careers.  The CBW will also has five general sessions and several sessions of roundtable discussions.

Staff contacts for the 2015 CBW: Suzan Shimko, Director of Conferences, and John Donaldson, National Director for Training and Technical Assistance.

After reviewing the CBW program and deciding what workshops you plan to attend, you can begin the online registration process. To access the registration form for mail/fax, click here.

#gearupworks #cbw15

GET THE MOST OUT OF THE CONFERENCE

REFLECT ON YOUR PROFESSIONAL GOALS BEFORE YOU ATTEND

You may want to spend some time reflecting on your professional goals before attending a conference. Conferences can be highly effective at helping you advance a wide range of professional objectives. For example, they can help you build and extend professional contacts, find a mentor or collaborator, gain experience presenting original work, advance your subject matter expertise, extend your knowledge of resources, introduce you to new theory, methods or tools, gain ideas for new programs and workshops, develop new skills or simply refresh your interest in and enthusiasm for managing programs and working directly with students. Whatever the goal, be intentional in the way you seek to advance your professional identity, contacts and knowledge.  Don’t passively attend the conference use it to advance your career objectives!

FOCUS ON VARIETY

There are normally a variety of session formats to select from including pre-conference workshops, panel discussions, team delivered presentations and of course single presenter presentations. Each offers a special experience and learning opportunity. Branch out a bit and see if you can sample a range of presentation approaches and styles.

READ THE CONFERENCE MATERIALS AND DO SOME PRELIMINARY PLANNING BEFORE YOU ATTEND

It is easy to be overwhelmed by the range of activities happening during a conference. Spend some time before you go reading through the program to get a sense of what seems most interesting and relevant. Large conferences may also offer a common reading for thought and reflection and if these are accessed in advance they may add much to your overall conference experience. Taking the time to prepare in advance will help you feel more relaxed and organized once the conference begins. Conferences offer so much – it can be helpful to review, reflect and strategize in advance.

USE A TAG TEAM APPROACH TO ACCESSING CONCURRENT SESSIONS

Conferences can be packed with interesting sessions and it can be hard to choose between interesting concurrent sessions. Although it may be tempting to attend individual sessions with trusted coworkers, consider asking your friends and workmates to spread out over the conference and attend different concurrent sessions. This strategy will ensure maximum exposure to what the conference has to offer.  Set some time aside to debrief and share materials and handouts with these workmates during breaks. This will help you gain access to much more of the conference than you could as a single attendee.

PARTICIPATE

Raise your hand, offer a comment, tell a story, frame a challenge, suggest a solution, give an example, reflect, engage and engage others! Be an active rather than passive participate. Much of the learning that takes place at a conference happens through peer-to-peer sharing and interaction. You may also wish to consider volunteering at a conference. This can be a great way to gain professional experience and engage more fully in the conference as it is happening.

VENTURE INTO NEW TERRITORY

Choose to attend at least one conference presentation in an area that you are not familiar with. This might help you discover a new passion, resource or opportunity. Focus not only on extending existing knowledge and expertise, focus on growth.

INTRODUCE YOURSELF

Conferences are great ways to engage with your familiar and trusted workmates but make it a point to expand your professional contacts by introducing yourself to at least three new people. If you feel awkward approaching others, network with an extroverted friend who can help with introductions. You are likely to meet some amazing people.

TAKE NOTES AND APPLY KEY LEARNING TO YOUR PRACTICE

Write down a few key takeaways from each session you attend. Consider how you might use what you learned in your professional practice. Be determined to take away at least one idea, tool, concept or bit of information that can be applied to your daily practice. Hang on to your handouts for future reference.

ATTEND THE SOCIAL EVENTS

Attend the scheduled social events! These are actually a lot of fun and really help to extend the excitement, enthusiasm and energy of a conference. If you are shy, take a friend with you. Don’t be afraid to relax and mingle.

SHARE WHAT YOU LEARNED WITH OTHERS/BRING CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHTS HOME

If you are one of only a few people in your immediate working group who is able to attend a conference you may want to focus on what you can take back to others who are not able to attend. Consider yourself an emissary for your entire working group and be committed to sharing what you learned with others. Bring conference highlights home by presenting to your department, host a brown bag debrief and share key takeaways with colleagues.

FOLLOW UP

Use the business cards you collect at a conference in the future. Reach out to others and look for ways to share and collaborate on new projects. This is a great way to form and strengthen professional networks over time. The call for proposals closed on April 1, 2014.

#gearupworks #cbw15

GEAR UP Schools Participate in SpringBoard Development

SpringBoard Logo Hi-Res

SpringBoard by CollegeBoard and California GEAR UP Partnership

SpringBoard® is the foundational component for the College Board’s College Readiness System, offering a proven Pre-AP program that increases participation and prepares a greater diversity of students for success in AP, college and beyond – without remediation. Based on College Board Standards for College Success and aligned to the Common Core State Standards, SpringBoard offers the only integrated college readiness solution that includes a rigorous curriculum, formative assessments and sustainable professional development.

SpringBoard workshops attended by ELA and Mathematics teachers from our pilot SpringBoard schools (King, Foothill, and Jones) last week as part of their SpringBoard professional development plan.  Both sessions were highly professional and effective in their content and delivery.

2014 ELA Scoring Student Work

 On November 12, 2014, nineteen teachers from Charles D. Jones Junior High School, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School, and Foothill Middle School came together to learn to collaborate productively to examine student work and determine next steps for instruction. They followed a common protocol for examining, scoring, and discussing actual student writing that the teachers brought to the session and were empowered to form conclusions and make plans to differentiate instruction, focus planning, and adjust pacing to propel students forward. Teachers gained an understanding of how to use Scoring Guides to score student work and effective protocols to support ongoing professional collaboration around how to use student data to inform instruction. Susie Lowry, a national SpringBoard Lead Trainer, effectively facilitated this session.

Focus Question: How can common scoring of student work promote student achievement?

This SpringBoard workshop was highly successful, as expressed during conversations throughout the day and the closing reflections. The trainer, who traveled from Florida to be with the group, had a high level of experience and expertise. She was impressed with the teachers’ level of engagement, their content knowledge, and their collaborative spirit.  They all worked together very intently in grade level groups and exchanged contact information with each other from the three different schools represented.

2014 Mathematics Content Seminar

On November 13, 2014, thirteen teachers from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School, and Foothill Middle School came together to learn more about implementing the new SpringBoard Pre-AP mathematics program aligned with the Common Core State Standards. This seminar provided an intensive study of a single course or middle grade level by examining closely the content, skills, pedagogy and assessments of the instructional units within a SpringBoard level. Through interactive modeling, teachers gained a deeper understanding of how to plan and deliver lessons using strategic instructional practices to support student learning that is aligned to the expectations of the Common Core State Standards. Tammy Buckshi, a national SpringBoard Lead Trainer and expert in mathematics instruction, facilitated the successful session.

The workshop was well received by the participants, as expressed during conversations throughout the day and the closing reflections. There was a noticeable positive increase in teacher engagement among some of the first-year implementers who seemed reluctant in the beginning. The trainer, who traveled from North Carolina to be with the group, had the pulse of the group at all times and was adept at adjusting activities and keeping participants’ attention.

The Springboard ELA workshop conducted at King on November 12th gave our teachers an excellent opportunity to receive much needed professional development around effective strategies to score student writing. The session was designed to show teachers how to score student work in grade-level groups, so they can apply the process to examine and score Embedded Assessments in grade-level meetings throughout the school year. 
 
In this era of teachers’ transitioning to teaching the Common Core State Standards, there is a targeted focus on students attaining the skills necessary to be successful in college and careers so the training was timely and effective. Teachers first received modeling of how they should score student writing, then practical strategies to provide students effective feedback.
 
By conducting the training in a collaborative setting, teachers were able to support each other’s learning. The trainer was especially skilled at dispelling some of the misconceptions of writing and some of the mistakes we have made in teaching writing like overemphasizing mechanics. 
 
Teachers walked a way with practical strategies and a system for collaborating over the teaching and learning of writing skills. Our students will greatly benefit from having teachers who have the skill-set to calibrate scores, identify writing models to serve as scoring guides, and provide feedback that will improve students ability to have highly organized, content rich writing experiences.
Shinay Bowman-Instructional Specialist, King Middle School
For more information on California GEAR UP and our partnerships please check out our website. You can learn more about SpringBoard here.