The Seminole State College Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (SSC GEAR UP) recently completed their 2019-20 year in review analysis. Each year the year in review coincides with National GEAR UP Week. National GEAR UP Week highlights significant achievements in each GEAR UP program throughout the United States. The SSC GEAR UP grant serves 10 school districts, Asher, Holdenville, Konawa, Maud, Okemah, Prague, Seminole, Varnum, Wetumka and Wewoka. Of the 1,000 students served, 600 students and parents opted in to receive timely text messages about post-secondary education, Oklahoma’s Promise scholarships, and preparation options. There were 160 parent or guardian personal contacts with GEAR UP staff members about academics through parent-teacher conferences at participating schools.
SSC GEAR UP Direct Student Services works with students in activities such as tutoring, mentoring, counseling and providing workshops centered on academics. In 2019-20, more than 1,000 students received academic planners, school supplies and over 500 eighth grade students received calculators. GEAR UP contacted more than 7,000 students and held 213 individual mentoring or counseling sessions. There were 464 students who visited five different colleges in Oklahoma and 76 students took educational field trips to either the Citizen Potawatomi and Iowa tribe career fairs or the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History in Norman. College preparation activities included 731 students participating in the ACT Aspire assessment and 49 freshmen students were provided a voucher for the ACT test. Services provided through GEAR UP partners included 56 different students receiving 182 personal tutoring sessions averaging 22 minutes each from Tutor.com, 188 different students had personal agents through Student Success Agency receiving 318 hours of virtual mentoring, academic and career counseling. Even though Seminole State College was closed during the summer, GEAR UP hosted its first ever virtual summer camp with 14 students attending. Because many activities were canceled during the spring of 2020, GEARUP utilized the remaining funds to provide 500 Chromebooks to students this fall when schools decided to implement distance learning.