GEAR UP students Erica Garza, Veronica Delarosa and Liliana Gonzalez take a lunch break during a field trip to San Jacinto College last summer.
GEAR UP's summer program for the Pasadena ISD's Senior Class of 2012 has been dramatically expanded to include a "Collegepalooza" Tour featuring 13 field trips, all during the month of June.
The GEAR UP program was launched in the summer of 2007 as a grant-funded initiative targeting one specific cohort of students - those who had just completed the seventh grade in 2007.
The goal was to acquaint those students with various college environments and emphasize the importance of a college education.
"The programs have always had a college and career focus so that the students are able to make the connection between high school and their future endeavors," said Karen McCarley, the Pasadena ISD's GEAR UP Coordinator.
Past programs were built solely around a partnership with San Jacinto College. This year the program will include field trips to additional campus locations, such as the University of Houston, Texas A&M-Galveston, Texas Southern University and Prairie View A&M.
Cohort students are scheduled to graduate next year. The summer marks the end of the program.
"They have accomplished so much over the past five years," McCarley said. "And we hope we have helped them become better informed about making decisions about their future."
The "Collegepalooza" Tour itinerary:
June 7: Medical - University of Houston-Downtown
June 7: Fine Arts (Theatre and Dance) - University of Houston
June 9: Business - University of Houston
June 10: Culinary Arts / Hospitality - San Jacinto College
June 13: Graphic and Web Design - University of Houston
June 14: Maritime Industries - Texas A&M-Galveston
June 15: Architecture / Construction Science - Prairie View A&M
June 16: Pharmacy - Texas Southern University
June 17: Computer Programming - University of Houston-Clear Lake
June 20: Auto Tech - San Jacinto College
June 21: Criminal Justice - University of Houston-Downtown
June 22: Aviation - Hobby Airport
June 28: Nursing - Texas Women's University