GEAR UP Birmingham Prepares Birmingham City Schools 9th and 10th Grade Students for Collegiate Success
GEAR UP Birmingham (GUB) is a federally funded initiative, currently serving a cohort of 9th and 10th grade students attending Birmingham City Schools. The initiative began in 2014, when the current cohort of students were just entering 6th and 7th grades.
“The grant was written with longevity and sustainability in mind”, said Dr. Kisha Tolbert Simmons, NBCT, Project Director, GEAR UP Birmingham. “It offers cohort students opportunities to participate in college awareness and preparation services throughout their middle and high school years, in an effort to promote and support postsecondary education attainment”, she said.
With the help of more than 40 educational partners, including Birmingham Education Foundation (Ed), GUB provides students and their families with the knowledge, resources and skills needed to successfully attend and graduate from college.
To ensure college readiness, GUB divides their services into six areas of opportunity: college awareness services, parent and student tuition waiver program, financial literacy and planning services, career exploration services, comprehensive mentoring services and academic tutoring services. These six areas of opportunity give GUB students and families a head start to planning for life after high school.
Additionally, through a partnership with the Alabama Community College System, GUB cohort students and their legal parent(s)/guardian(s) are afforded an opportunity to attend any two-year college in the state of Alabama via a “no cost-last dollar” tuition waiver. While, the waiver program does have eligibility requirements, the opportunity for those who qualify is one that opens the door to endless, life changing possibilities.
To date, GUB has seen a significant increase in the number of students who continually express a high interest in attending a college/university upon graduation from high school. The organization is heavily involved in the students’ day-to-day lives. Over the course of the 2016-2017 school year, GUB provided over 60,000 school year and summer activity hours to cohort students. GUB is committed to providing a quality, enriching college preparation experience for its cohort students and their families. The data proves it all — #GEARUPWorks!
To learn more about GEAR UP Birmingham, please visit gearupbham.com. For up-to-date information regarding GEAR UP Birmingham events and services, follow GEAR UP Birmingham on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram — #GEARUPBham #GEARUPWorks.
About GEAR UP Birmingham: GEAR UP Birmingham (GUB) is a federally funded college awareness and readiness program that empowers students to attend and succeed in college. Funded through a seven-year grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Education, GEAR UP Birmingham’s main focus is to promote success by providing a cohort of Birmingham City Schools’ students with opportunities to learn the necessary skills needed to attend and to graduate from college. GEAR UP Birmingham provides a plethora of resources and activities that promote a college-going culture for students, parents and educators alike.