As a state GEAR UP grant, Texas GEAR UP provides a number of forums and resources to promote the sharing of information about college awareness and readiness.
The primary function of the state grant is to provide leadership and funding for the production of GEAR UP college readiness materials for use in Texas schools, universities, outreach programs and community groups. From 2001-2009, those materials were developed as toolkits—packages of multimedia resources designed to equip educators, parents, and students with information regarding postsecondary preparation and tools to help students access, attend, and succeed in postsecondary education. Over the years, toolkits have focused on topics ranging from effective and innovative education partnerships to statewide demographic information about the importance of a post-secondary education and the growth of Texas. The most recent toolkit, “Mentors, Mindsets, and Role Models,” focuses on the importance of supportive relationships with peers, educators, and adults in preparing and supporting students through their postsecondary career. For a description of toolkits and ordering information, please visit GEAR UP Toolkits.
In 2010, GEAR UP launched a new college and career readiness website called Own Your Own Future. Designed to provide students a web destination for short-but-informative materials aimed at preparing them to enter and succeed in college, the site also includes an educator section with activities that can be used in classrooms (as well as a resource section for parents). There are regular updates with new videos, activities and informational materials—so the site will grow right along with the students.
GEAR UP in Texas also includes 19 partnership grants at work throughout the state serving almost 90 districts and approximately 55,000 students. Though Texas GEAR UP has no direct oversight of the partnership grants, the state grant works to support GEAR UP by providing networking opportunities and resources to help strengthen GEAR UP partnerships.
The Guide to GEAR UP in Texas provides information about each GEAR UP partnership grant, including the districts and regions served, partners, and major initiatives. It is designed to foster networking among partnership grantees and to provide access to others who may be interested in the activities GEAR UP project have developed.
The Texas GEAR UP State Conference is sponsored annually by the Texas state grant project. Locations for the conference change yearly, as GEAR UP partnerships work with the state project to co-sponsor the event. Presentations at the conference are solicited from each GEAR UP partnership project, featuring initiatives that have proven successful for them. Conference agendas include sessions for program directors and staff, educators, university faculty, parents, and community and business partners. See more detailed information on the conferences.