Spring 2017 Newsletter

Spring 2017 Newsletter

Download the Spring 2017 GEAR UP Alabama newsletter.

Read more

Why We Desperately Need To Bring Back Vocational Training In Schools

In a situation where 70% of high school students do not go to college, nearly half of those who do go fail to graduate, and over half of the graduates are unemployed or underemployed, is vocational education really expendable? Or is it the smartest investment we could make in our children, our businesses, and our country’s economic future?

Read more

President Obama Announces High School Graduation Rate Has Reached New High

Today, President Obama will be at Benjamin Banneker Academic High School in Washington, D.C. to announce that America’s high school graduation rate has reached a record new high of 83.2 percent.

Read more

The Seven Year Switch

The Seven Year Switch

As Veronique Zimmerman-Brown, Ph.D., drives through the Black Belt, she can tell easily that jobs have been hard to come by and that the region’s poverty rate stands at close to 30 percent. “You can see historical deficiencies in terms of finance and economics,” says Zimmerman-Brown, a UAB School of Education program director and alumna. “A lot of businesses are boarded up, so you know the money isn’t flowing, and the tax revenue isn’t there.”

Read more

Summer 2016 Newsletter

Summer 2016 Newsletter

Download the Summer 2016 Gear Up Alabama newsletter.

Read more

Financial Literacy Live Stream

The following links will allow you and your students to INTERACT LIVEwith Dr. Stephanie Yates from your classroom to hers. Students will be taught directly by Dr. Yates and can ask/answer questions in real time. All lessons will be taught from 1:30 until 2:30pmunless otherwise specified. Please contact GUA at sbriggs@gearupal.com or Dr. Yates at sryates@uab.edu for more information. If you cannot participate in real time, you can view the lesson on YouTube at your convenience.

Read more

Lessons From a 'Hidden Gem' in Alabama



One of Alabama's best schools sits on the outskirts of rural Mount Vernon, population 1,550, a dot on the map without a traffic light.

Read more

ESSAs Well Rounded Education

ESSAs Well Rounded Education

As questions regarding the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) flow in to Education Commission of the States, one frequent inquiry is about the concept of a “wellrounded education,” referenced more than 20 times and included within the majority of Titles in the Act. State education leaders want to know what constitutes a well-rounded education, how can they ensure students across their state have access to it, and how, if at all, the U.S. Department of Education plans to hold their state accountable to it. Download the rest of the article.

Source: Education System of the States

Read more

Regions Bank, University of Alabama-Birmingham Team up to Teach Financial Literacy

Regions Bank, University of Alabama-Birmingham Team up to Teach Financial Literacy

“Grades” are how we measure progress, and on the subject of personal finance, students and schools have been coming up short. A recent study reveals that millennials need to worry about their financial grades, since the overwhelming majority have committed at least one major financial blunder: defaulting on a student loan, overspending on a credit card or having an account sent to collections.

Read more

Every Student, Every Day: A National Initiative to Address and Eliminate Chronic Absenteeism

The U.S. Department of Education (ED), Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, in collaboration with the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and Justice (DOJ), hosted the Every Student, Every Day National Conference: Eliminating Chronic Absenteeism by Implementing and Strengthening Cross-Sector Systems of Support for All Students on June 9th and 10th. This conference was a key deliverable of President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Initiative and is designed to support state and local efforts to address and eliminate chronic absenteeism among our nation’s most vulnerable students, particularly those attending low-performing schools.

Read more

Lessons that Pay Dividends for Life

Lessons that Pay Dividends for Life

Last summer, UAB student Brandon Pickett worked as a lead counselor in a camp where the kids learned survival skills—the kind involving dollars and cents. During the four-day Money Math Camp, he and other counselors taught 45 middle-schoolers from low-income and minority school districts about money management and the impact of career choices on future lifestyles.

Read more

Spring 2016 Newsletter

Spring 2016 Newsletter

Download the Spring 2016 Gear Up Alabama newsletter.

Read more

GEAR UP: Banks students lead career fair, inspire others to ‘gear up’ for future

GEAR UP: Banks students lead career fair, inspire others to ‘gear up’ for future

Students at Banks School are “geared up” and “revved” up for their careers and the excitement was contagious Tuesday as they explored the many job possibilities available to them.

Read more

Winter 2016 Newsletter

Winter 2016 Newsletter

Download the Winter 2016 Gear Up Alabama newsletter.

Read more

Program Covers Community College Tuition

A program in the Black Belt allows students and parents in the GEAR UP Alabama program to attended community college tuition free.

Read more

Bentley: State Should Coordinate Broadband Expansion, Address 2-Year College Tuition for Poor

MONTGOMERY — Gov. Robert Bentley’s State of the State address tonight will discuss ways to fix a major problem in Alabama, poverty.

Read more

As Plans for Free Community College Spread, Educators Seek to Include Adult Learners

When President Obama outlined steps in September to make his proposal for free community college a reality, his call for change reflected a movement that had already gained momentum. There are now more than 100 local community and state efforts that have vowed to pursue reduced-cost or tuition-free learning, many in conjunction with Mr. Obama’s America’s College Promise program and its associated awareness campaign, known as Heads Up America.

Read more

Adding Adults into the Free College Conversation

Adding Adults into the Free College Conversation

The free two-year college movement is gaining momentum across the United States, but the focus demographics for these programs has traditionally been recent high school graduates. In Alabama, however, the GEAR UP program has committed to creating access for both young students and their parents. In this interview, Veronique Zimmerman-Brown reflects on some of the reasoning behind that decision and shares some insights into the challenges of establishing the GEAR UP Alabama program and making it a success.

Read more

New Year Resolutions from Acting Secretary of Eduation

New Year Resolutions from Acting Secretary of Eduation

Every New Year offers the chance for each of us to set new personal goals to make us healthier, happier, or more productive. In 2016, I hope you’ll join me as I recommit myself to ensuring that every child in America—regardless of background or circumstance—has access to an excellent education.

Read more

Fall 2015 Newsletter

Dear GUA Colleagues and Friends, Here you will find the GEAR UP Alabama Newsletter. Our first issue is for the Fall of 2015.

Read more

Peek Inside a Classroom

José was one of the calmest, quietest, most peaceful boys in the classroom. The kind of boy everybody loves.

Read more

Alabama Living Highlights GEAR UP Alabama

Cleve Poole, VP Economic Development and Legal Affairs of Alabama Living writes about GEAR UP Alabama in the November 2015 edition of the online magazine.

Read more

Predictors of Postsecondary Success

An American Institutes for Research College and Career Readiness and Success Center's brief summarizes early childhood through early postsecondary education research that identifies student skills, behaviors, and other characteristics that predict future academic and workplace success. This information can support policymakers and practitioners as they begin to develop and validate factors that identify students who are on a path to postsecondary success as early as prekindergarten and throughout their academic career.

Read more

States Fall Short on Teaching Financial Literacy

States Fall Short on Teaching Financial Literacy

One state has gone above and beyond all others in its efforts to ensure high school students learn financial literacy, according to a new report—and that's Utah.

Read more

GEAR UP Alabama Kicks Off in Selma and Dallas County Schools

From the West Alabama Newsroom-- A new program underway in Selma and Dallas County is designed to raise the high school graduation rate and equip students to successfully move on to college -- or enter the workforce.

Read more

Middle School Students Granted College Chance with GEAR UP

Phenix City middle schoolers are already gearing up for college with a little help.

Read more

Phenix City 6th and 7th Graders Eligible for Scholarships

On Friday, October 31, 2014, Governor Bentley held a special event at the Alabama Capitol to recognize Phenix City Schools and 17 other Alabama school districts as recipients of the GEAR UP grant. The goal of the event was to highlight the grant, recognize the leadership of the University of Alabama Birmingham (UAB) who worked on the grant and discuss the impact this grant will have on students in Phenix City and other areas.

Read more

$49 Million Focus on Education in Alabama's Black Belt

A seven-year, $49 million project is aimed at some of Alabama's poorest counties in an effort to raise the high school graduation rate and get more students in college. Governor Robert Bentley says that "Gear Up Alabama" is critical to changing the mostly rural counties across central Alabama that traditionally have more poverty than the rest of the state.

Read more

GEAR UP Grant to Benefit Pike County Schools

The GEAR UP summer enrichment program for Banks School, Pike County High School and Goshen High School wrapped up Thursday with a fun day for students.

Read more

Why the Admissions Office May Be Part of the Problem of College Access

Access to college is a hot issue these days, with policy makers and colleges looking for ways to enroll more low-income, first-generation, and minority students. Many people see the admissions office as a key part of the solution. But as a longtime admissions professional, I suspect just the opposite is true: That the admissions office, especially at highly selective institutions, is the agent that keeps these students out of college in the first place, by creating a game that is heavily skewed in favor of students from high-income, well-educated families.

Read more

Alabama State Board Meeting - June 2015

Clip taken from the 6/11/2015 State Board of Education Work Session. View the full session.

Read more

SHMS to Launch “GEAR UP” College Prep Program

Seventh and eighth grade students at South Highlands Middle School will have extra help preparing for college and career training programs, thanks to a new “Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs” (GEAR UP) initiative. The GEAR UP program focuses on helping students pursue education and training beyond high school, including trade certificate programs, two-year degree programs and four-year degree programs.

Read more

GEAR UP Summer Enrichment Program Finishes with Fun Day

GEAR UP Summer Enrichment Program Finishes with Fun Day

The GEAR UP summer enrichment program for Banks School, Pike County High School and Goshen High School wrapped up Thursday with a fun day for students.

Read more

Summer Learning: Ambitious Program Gears Up To Push Middle-Schoolers Past High School

Summer Learning: Ambitious Program Gears Up To Push Middle-Schoolers Past High School

A surprisingly good student band is doing its thing on the last day of a weeklong music camp at Alabama’s picturesque University of Montevallo. The camp attracts talented kids from around the Southeast, mostly from families who can afford the tuition. But through a grant program just getting started, students who otherwise couldn’t are joining in.

Read more

Expanding the Presidential Scholars Program to Honor Students in Career and Technical Education

Expanding the Presidential Scholars Program to Honor Students in Career and Technical Education

Yesterday, President Obama signed an Executive Order expanding the United States Presidential Scholars program to establish a new category of outstanding scholars in career and technical education (CTE).

Read more