In September 2016, Campus Compact for New Hampshire in partnership with the New Hampshire College & University Council were awarded a multi-year GEAR UP grant by the U.S. Department of Education to significantly increase the number of low-income New Hampshire secondary school students who are prepared to enter and succeed in post-secondary education or training.
In addition to promoting statewide awareness and promoting a college ready culture within the state GEAR UP New Hampshire will target three regions by providing additional support and resources to schools in these areas. The regions to be targeted are: the North Country, Lakes and Southwest region. These parts of New Hampshire are rural, experiencing demographic shifts and /or economic challenges.
To promote a college going culture at the schools within these regions we will work to build the following attributes:
- Aspiration – School setting that inspires and supports students’ college and career goals
- Rigor – College and career success will be linked to academic preparation
- Expectation – Schools will provide clear pathways to college that promote college knowledge and give students support toward college readiness
- Accountability – Schools will use appropriate data to gauge progress and design interventions
- Sustainability – we work with schools to transform them to college going culture into the future
We have identified high impact levers that will provide the framework for GEAR UP New Hampshire’s regional work:
- Academic Rigor – Offering a rigorous college preparatory curriculum with the appropriate mix of content areas and deep development of writing and critical thinking skills so that students are prepared for college level coursework
- College Matching – Counseling students to research, apply to and attend schools that are a good match for them academically, socially, and financially, and have high graduation rates and strong support structures in place for first-generation, low-income students
- Social and Non Cognitive Skills – Supporting students to develop critical social, emotional, and/or non-cognitive skills (e.g., self-advocacy, self-awareness, persistence, self-discipline) to persist in the face of obstacles
- Financial Aid and Scholarships – Engaging students and families, from as early as middle school, with information and tools that position them to be active participants in searching for and acquiring financial aid and scholarship resources for their college experience