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Programs: Gear up

Sweet Home Junior High and High School
gear upCollege...it’s not a dream, it’s a plan. That’s our motto at Sweet Home GEAR UP, and it guides our work with our Junior High and High School.  We support our schools in their efforts to set high academic expectations, promote early awareness of college opportunities, and engage students in college and career planning. Our goal is to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary programs.

The Sweet Home GEAR UP team has put together a comprehensive college readi­ness program targeting the areas of academics, career exploration and college affordability. Junior high and high school teachers from the Language Arts, Math and Science departments meet to map the curriculum and ensure its vertical alignment, and study halls at both schools have been expanded to accommodate more students in need of academic support.

At the junior high, students in the seventh grade GEAR UP club focus on career exploration, using Oregon Career Information System (CIS) to identify interests, learn about careers that align with those interests, and research the required educational backgrounds, average salaries and daily duties associated with each career. Additionally, eighth graders participate in a trimester-long GEAR UP class where an entire unit of study is devoted to career planning. Students with career interests in the engineering field have taken part in an Engineering Camp at Oregon State University over the summer, engaging in hands-on activities and gaining broad exposure to college life and career possibilities. Students are guided through curriculum covering the importance, process and costs of going to college as well as the connections between their career goals and the classes they need to take in high school and college to achieve those goals.

In the area of college affordability, both the seventh grade GEAR UP club and the eighth grade GEAR UP class have units of study on Financial Aid, exploring the costs of college attendance as well as developing savings plans and college budgets. In order to initiate the transition of the GEAR UP program to the high school, the team also works with older students to complete curriculum on financial aid, grants, scholarships and work study programs; we send out newsletters to senior parents every other month highlighting FAFSA deadlines and scholarship news; and assist seniors with FAFSA forms and scholarship applications through the Career Center.

For more information on the GEAR UP Program, please contact:
Kristin Adams, GEAR UP Coordinator
Phone: (541) 367-7177
Address: 1641 Long St., Sweet Home, OR  97386