State Gear-Up

InitiativesGoalMeans of AchievingOutcomeMethods of AssessmentResultsResult Use
AccessIncrease math and English readiness among high school program participantsProvide personalized review and advising for all program participants regarding readiness standards. Embed Academic Coaches in classrooms to support student achievement and development. Increase ACT preparation and second try retesting.Students and parents will have a better understanding of the expectations for math and English college readiness. Students will increase ACT participation.Number of ACT waivers provided to students for "second try" retesting Multiple ACT test scores on student transcripts Annual parent/student surveysAs of December 31, 2015, ACT waiver distribution has increased over last year; due to changes in waiver use, some students previously eligible for waivers are not now, which has impacted the number of students retesting. The largest growth has been in first-time test takers at Mountain High. We have also provided a two-session ACT prep course, with additional courses scheduled in February and March. Parent/Student surveys are ongoing so data from that source is not yet available. We have 8 academic coaches currently embedded in core classes at Clearfield, Layton, and Roy High Schools and anticipate increasing to 10 next semester. As of May 1, 2016, ACT re-testing among SGU students had increased 35% from 40 to 54 students. Embedding academic coaches in classrooms was generally well received by our community partners and students. Provision of these resources increased the visibility of Weber State within our schools and among students and parents. Impacts to program recruitment were minimal, but enrolled students had significantly greater access to academic support through embedded coaching. Coaching continues in many classes through the end of the secondary school year, at which time comparison data will be available to more accurately determine its impacts.Participation in ACT re-testing continues as an ongoing need, while students' ability to participate in relevant ACT prep sessions continues to be a challenge. ACT Prep courses offered by high schools typically cost >$50, which the program's economically disadvantaged students cannot typically afford. Attending weekend sessions has also proven difficult as students face transportation and work scheduling challenges. In cooperation with partner schools, we plan to provide two 3-week ACT sessions on site during "late start." Academic coaching continues to be a great need and one of our strongest methods of building partner and community relationships. Budgetary restrictions due to the anticipated loss of Access & Outreach Disadvantaged Student funds will impact how many tutors/coaches we are able to provide to students. Responsibility for on-site management and training of coaches will shift away from Jody Perkins to ensure more cohesive and seamless processes.
CommunityIncrease parent participation in and awareness of students' college-preparation activities by 3% over previous year.Send monthly newsletter to parents with college-preparation information and event schedules. Conduct tri-annual workshops for parents in participating schools on college readiness topics. Invite parents to join students in college campus visits and other readiness activities. Meet with parents during home visits, scheduled school visits, and as available.Students and parents will demonstrate a greater understanding of college readiness guidelines and requirements.Annual parent and student survey results Increased participation/service hours to parentsAs of December 31, 2015, parent service hours have increased over the same period last year from 15.5 hours to 41.59 hours. Parent surveys are in progress. Parents have participated in two campus visits with students. Review of monthly newsletter open and response rates identified this as an ineffective tool. Emails being sent now contain workshop and college campus visit information on an as-needed basis. As of May 1, 2016, no significant increase in parent participation was identifiable in our data. Survey responses will not be available until late July. Staff discussed parent involvement during strategic planning sessions, refocusing on increasing parent awareness of the advantages of increased participation.Program staff reiterated increasing parental involvement as one of our primary goals for the next school year. We are designing new monthly email for parents that is shorter and includes more student highlights. We have set the dates for all campus visits for the 2016-17 school year and will publish those on our calendar and website. Over the summer, we are developing a targeted marketing campaign specifically designed to encourage parent participation in college visits and informational workshops; this campaign will be implemented beginning August 2016 as we participate in student registration and back to school events. The focus of the campaign is to 1) assist parents to understand why their participation is valuable to them and to their students, 2) facilitate more involvement through advanced planning and notification of events, and 3) specifically invite parents to participate in college campus visits.
LearningProvide structured, supportive mentoring opportunities to WSU students through Academic Coach opportunities with partner high schools.Recruit students previously serving as tutors to continue in Academic Coach role. Invite and encourage first year program participants to serve as Academic Coaches. Provide training in mentorship and tutoring to Academic Coach staff in cooperation with other WSU programming. Students will develop personal strengths and skills as they tutor and mentor underrepresented high school students.Annual surveys Mentor and tutor training assessmentsAs of December 31, 2015, SGU has 8 WSU students working as Academic Coaches, including 3 first-year GU students. All Coaches have participated in Mentor Training and tutor training designed to facilitate their personal and professional growth. As of May 1, 2016, SGU had employed 16 different WSU students in the role of Academic Coach, including 5 first-year GU students. Many coaches created strong positive relationships with hosting teachers; several asked to return the following year. Management and training continues to be a concern. Coaches expressed frustration with employee processes and significant training gaps as a result of cumbersome management divided between Access & Outreach hiring authorities and SGU front line staff. SGU staff and school personnel were often confused or received conflicting information regarding coaching availability. Refinement of internal processes is needed to improve service both to our community partners and WSU student workers.Discussions with Exec. Dir. Enrique Romo resulted in a plan to facilitate smoother processes for student workers next year. Initial recruitment activities will be performed by Jody Perkins but once hiring has taken place, all subsequent management and training will be provided directly by program staff. Participation by Academic Coaches in WSU's Peer Mentoring training will be evaluated when that training schedule has been finalized for the new year. With the dissolution of Access & Outreach Disadvantaged Student funding, SGU will be unable to provide the current depth and level of tutoring services to community partners. Placement of tutors next year will be based on percentages of program students in each partnering school and previous track record of students utilizing available tutor services. We anticipate hiring less than half of the number of tutors previously engaged with our partners.
AccessIncrease FAFSA completion rate among economically-disadvantaged program participants by 5% over previous year.Conduct parent training on FAFSA needs and implications during workshops at partner schools. Provide FAFSA completion workshops in each partner school. Hold FAFSA completion workshop at Davis campus in April after taxes are completed.Students will understand the types of aid accessible through the FAFSA. Students will understand how FAFSA completion affects financial aid accessibility and eligibility.Percentage of eligible program students completing the FAFSA Pell grant awardsAs of December 31, 2015, financial aid information workshops have been held at Clearfield, Layton, Mountain, and Roy High Schools. FAFSA completion events are scheduled at each school beginning on Feb. 7, 2016. FAFSA completion workshops at the Davis campus are also scheduled for February, March, and April. As of May 1, 2016, SGU had assisted in the completion of 115 FAFSAs, including approximately 20 for non-program students (WSU and other high school students who attended FAFSA workshops at WSU-Davis). Early data shows a FAFSA completion increase of 12% among program students over this time last year. Many students are still in the process of completing enrollment steps, including FAFSA completion. Final data will not be available until Fall 2016.We monitor completion and verification status for all students on a monthly basis, following up as needed or requested. SAR reports are collected and placed in student files. In planning for the next year, program staff determined that having more regular, open opportunities for FAFSA assistance would be beneficial to students, especially with the new October opening of the application. To that end, SGU program staff will be available from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. the first Saturday of each month November 2016-May 2017. These drop in opportunities will be in addition to the FAFSA events held at each of our four partner schools, all of which have been scheduled for the upcoming year, and the WSU-sponsored FAFSA workshops that have yet to be scheduled.
DiversityIncrease staff awareness and sensitivity to LGBTQ issues among secondary students.Participate in relevant Student Affairs trainings and workshops. Consult with Jason Stokes about specific situations and invite him to provide training in a staff meeting. Staff will demonstrate increased awareness of LGBTQ issues among secondary students. Staff will discuss and make plans to accommodate LGBTQ student needs, especially in regards to college campus visits, club participation, and overnight experiences. Staff will identify and share scholarship resources specific to LGBTQ students.As of February 1, 2016, Jayson has provided numerous insights to SGU staff regarding resources and appropriate interactions with LGBTQ secondary students. Scholarships specific to LGBTQ populations have been shared with SGU students by advisors and via the program Facebook page. As of May 1, 2016, SGU staff report that insights shared by Jayson have been helpful but that they would like additional training, specifically regarding the latest information regarding vocabulary and language, as well as resources for secondary students seeking support. They note a particular increase in the number of high school students who self-identify as transgender.Staff decided to continue their focus on LGBT diversity into the next year, identifying specific areas for additional training and awareness. Gender identity issues related to public facilities use will be reviewed prior to each college campus visit, with specific plans made to address the needs of transgender individuals. Staff plan to receive Safe Zone training and post relevant literature in program areas in each partner school. Staff will also seek more opportunities to share awareness about and advocate for services for LGBT students within our secondary school partnerships.