GearUP with Student Voice Project

The GEAR UP program fosters college awareness and readiness for low-income middle and high school students by providing a variety of programs targeted to educators. The University of Washington state GEAR UP program serves 5,700 students in 36 schools and 29 school districts throughout Washington state. From 2005 to 2007, the GEAR UP Program partnered with SoundOut to help improve their outcomes.

Challenge

The state’s major GEAR UP program was faced with normalized student disengagement among their target participants, including low-income, students of color, and migrant/bilingual students. They needed to increase facilitator effectiveness, and decided that modeling and intensive professional development were the best avenues for action.

Solutions

The University of Washington State GEAR UP program contracted with SoundOut from 2005 to 2007 to facilitate several training activities for almost 300 middle and high school students. In 2007, SoundOut staff facilitated a week-long professional development retreat for local coordinators focused on Meaningful Student Involvement.

Outcomes

SoundOut Founding Director Adam Fletcher and trainer Scott LeDuc facilitated a 36-hour intensive program designed to increase program efficacy and outcomes. Participants reported their work would be transformed, their approaches would refocus on student engagement, and that they had the resources they needed to take strategic steps.

Recommendation

“Adam works tirelessly to create environments and cultures where youth develop and wield the knowledge and power to positively impact not only their lives but also society. He is one of the most knowledgeable, innovative, and effective facilitators, writers, educators, and thinkers in the field. Adam brings theory and reality together in praxis that reveals how utopic visions can become a reality.” – Christin Chopra, former Manager, University of Washington GEAR UP

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