The GearUp program has school districts nationwide preparing students for college before they even send in their college application, and Valley students are taking full advantage of the initiative.
“The benefits are time and money,” said Crystal Hernandez, the Coakley Middle School GearUp coordinator.
That’s what parents and their students are saving through the program. The goal is to prepare students to take the Texas Success Initiative Assessment.
“That’s our main focus right now – is to help our students be TSI ready so that they can be successful when they take that exam and they can take dual courses at the high school level,” Hernandez said.
College readiness is the nationwide initiative’s mission, and through dual enrollment, Harlingen CISD hopes to prepare its students for college.
“Those students, studies show that they have a greater tendency of matriculting into college and finishing college,” said Joseph Villarreal, Harlingen CISD assistant superintendent for secondary education.
And what better way to do that then to take college classes in high school?
“It gives them a head start that they wouldn’t have had otherwise,” Hernandez said.
“Parents are able to save money when the student goes to college because they’re able to transfer some of those credits that they’ve earned in high school to college,” Villarreal said.
All the while, working towards a degree before they’ve even sent in a college application.
“Maybe that student that graduates no college hours whatsoever feels a little overwhelmed because they have to go another four years to get their degree versus a student that took advantage of those dual enrollment courses at the high school level may only need to do two years to get that same degree,” Hernandez said.
To find out more about the GearUp program and to see if it’s offered at your student’s school, ask the guidance counselor for more information.