Engage, Empower, Elevate (GEAR UP)
Engage, Empower, Elevate (E3) – awarded in 2018 – is a college and career readiness program funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s GEAR UP grant initiative (Gaining Early Awareness & Readiness for Undergraduate Programs). Each grant is awarded for a 7-year period and follows 2 cohorts of students from middle school through high school. The program provides an array of classroom-based services and integrated supports designed to improve student academic achievement and increase the number of students that successfully enter into post-secondary programs and/or professional or technical careers upon graduation from high school. GEAR UP serves students in Jefferson, McDaniel and Roosevelt High Schools.
E3 serves students, teachers and families through three integrated initiatives:
- NEAR PEER MENTORS implements culturally relevant and sustainable practices focusing on college identity, college & career exposure and post-secondary preparation activities using a classroom-based near-peer mentor model, partnering college-going school alum with teacher partners.
- CULTURALLY SUSTAINING PEDAGOGY enhances educator capacity to infuse into the classroom a holistic, culturally-responsive and data-informed approach toward college readiness that makes visible and elevates student voice in the classroom, including teacher leadership development, collaborative networking, and quantitative and qualitative student non-cognitive survey data to inform pedagogy and curriculum development.
- FAMILY ENGAGEMENT builds an inclusive, intercultural parent-organizing model that empowers parents and families to more actively engage in the educational system and advocate for student academic success.