2002-2003 Montana GEAR UP Performance:

Report to the Montana Board of Regents, May 2003

 

During the 2002-2003 Academic Year (AY), Montana GEAR UP provided services to 795 7th and 8th grade students at 22 Demonstration Middle and Junior High Schools and 1751 9th through 12th grade students at 20 receiving partner high schools, for a total of 2,546 students.† GEAR UP continued to expand scholarship programs and financial aid information products and services.† New partnerships with the Montana School Counselors Association and the Montana Parent Information Resource Center focused increasingly on ensuring sustainability of GEAR UP goals and activities both locally and statewide. The 2002-2003 Annual Performance Report includes individual student unit data on 2,546 students in 42 Montana schools as well as parent participation statistics and attitudinal surveys from staff, teachers, students and parents.† Total student contact in thirty-four service areas 144.86 averaged hours per student.† Montana GEAR UP staffing includes 43 full-time and 72 part-time staff members on a paid or volunteer basis.

 

Highlights of the Annual Performance Report

Scholarship Programs and Financial Aid Services.

         GEAR UP awarded 166 scholarships 38 juniors, 47 sophomores and 14 seniors, with average awards ranging from $2,739 to $3,195.

         GEAR UP made $1000 grants available to 77 11th grade students, pending completed applications.

         GEAR UP involved 1981 students in the college savings account essay contest, awarded $250 savings accounts to 155 students, and gave recognition certificates to entrants, teachers and liaisons.

         Montana Guaranteed Student Loan Program (MGSLP) published 4,000 essay booklets containing the winning essays and studentsí pictures.

         MGSLP produced Charting Your Path to Success CD-ROMS and distributed them to all 9th grade students during financial aid presentations.† The Web version was implemented in March.

         MGSLP distributed 1,380 financial aid/career exploration padfolios 9th to 11th grade students during financial aid presentations at each school.

 

Contact with the GEAR UP Community

         GEAR UP awarded 22 Demonstration Middle Schools operating budgets to fund liaisons and student, parent and staff services.† Demonstration Middle Schools remained the fiscal and oversight agents for integrated Middle School/High School budgets and activities.

         GEAR UP awarded supplemental grants to eight Partner High Schools to develop GEAR UP Transition Teams and worked with other schools to utilize current allocations for the same purpose.

         GEAR UP modified its award and implementation planning assistance and monitoring activities to fully integrate services to high school students, parents and staff.

         GEAR UP continued to offer relevant student, parent, and professional development services to middle and high schools.

         During this fourth year, GEAR UP, program staff and partners made some adjustments to institutionalize and focus services and activities. GEAR UP has become a key component of Demonstration Middle and High Schools and their communities.†††

         GEAR UP organized 25 training sessions for GEAR UP schools, with 64 staff participating.

         1923 students participated in 55 campus visits to 22 different colleges.

         142 students attended 12 GEAR UP-sponsored Summer Enrichment Camps on 5 campuses and up to 256 are currently registering for twelve 2003 Summer Camps.

         GEAR UP collaborated with OPI to encourage schools to include pro-college data, goals and action steps in the Five Year Comprehensive Plan due to the Board of Public Education in May 2003.

         GEAR UPís Parent Involvement specialist coordinated a series of workshops and school grants focused on parental and community involvement.

         GEAR UP awarded 7 Parental Involvement Seed Grants of $2,000 each to Demonstration Schools to enable them to focus on specific, sustainable goals and activities.

         GEAR UP sent parental involvement information and resources to all schools and liaisons weekly.

         GEAR UP is convening a retreat of its Career Advisory Task Force to finalize a long-term strategic plan.

         GEAR UP provided counselor training for Demonstration Middle/High School counselorís and co-sponsored a statewide school counselor conference for over 100 Montana School Association.

         GEAR UP collaborated with the Office of Public Instruction to institutionalize GEAR UPís early college awareness/preparation activities for school counselors statewide.

         Counselors began a review of MUS graduate counseling education program content/standards.

         GEAR UP staff facilitated and participated in Regional Demonstration School meetings.

         GEAR UP organized a fall conference for partner middle schools/ high schools in September 2002.

         GEAR UP regularly convened its Administrative Advisory Committee to advise the program on key operational processes and decisions.

         Through GEAR UP, OCHE and OPI convened a state policy level Counseling Leadership Initiative to adopt and implement comprehensive, equity access-based school counseling programs.

         GEAR UP developed a professional peer-reviewed Professional Journal for all Montana counselors.

 

Assessment of Service Impact for 2002-2003

         During 2002-03, GEAR UP collected attitudinal/expectations surveys from 1,595 students, and 536 parents.† Currently, staff is reviewing the information for significant findings, including a comparison to similar data collected in AYís 1999-2000, 2000-2001, and 2001-2002.

         Montana GEAR UP compiled academic achievement records (grades, course enrollment, and grade-level of performance) for 2,546 individual students to permit program providers to assess the effect of studentsí participation in individualized tutoring and academic support service activities.

         GEAR UP compiled attitudinal/expectation surveys from a sample of GEAR UP teachers, administrators, and counselors.† Staff is comparing this data to baseline data.

         GEAR UP assessment staff updated profiles for each participating middle and high school including accreditation status, teacher-to-student and counselor-to-student ratios test scores and student proficiency, ethnicity, free-lunch participation, attendance and dropout rates.† GEAR UP studies these profiles for key data from AY 2000-2001, 2001-2002, and 2002-2003.

         Three sub-contractors conducted qualitative interviews with students, parents and school staff to assess the degree of use, integration, and overall GEAR UP program effectiveness at all GEAR UP middle and high schools, using the Levels of Use Interview Protocol.

         GEAR UP compares baseline standardized test scores (collected in AY99-00, 00-01, 01-02) to AY2002-2003 data and use findings to enhance/monitor academic performance.

         Of the 220 8th graders in year 1 of the GEAR UP grades, 148 were still enrolled in the 11th grade in the GEAR UP Demonstration Schools and 77 (or 50%) met the academic requirement to receive an Achievement Grant.

 

Further information about Montana Gear Up may be found at: http://www.gearup.montana.edu/

May 13, 2003