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DC GEAR UP Launches First National College Awareness Credit Course

Thursday, February 1, 2007
Course Offered for Existing DC GEAR UP Students at Paul Laurence Dunbar Senior High School

The State Education Office’s program DC Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (DC GEAR UP) launched the first in the nation GEAR UP course for credit.  The course, which has been designed to inform students and their families about postsecondary education options, is offered at Paul Laurence Dunbar Senior High School.  The course will provide students and their families the tools necessary to create a “pathway” toward a successful transition from secondary to postsecondary education.  Concomitantly, the course will also embrace DC GEAR UP’s mission by providing resources and services so that students and their families are empowered and well-prepared to make informed decisions and pursue postsecondary education endeavors.

Each course unit will focus on the steps students need to take in order to pursue a two-year or four-year degree.  Students will be introduced to basic post-secondary concepts such as issues that impact college-bound students, how to complete necessary documents to attend and finance post secondary education.  Through workshops and other related activities, geared to increasing student and parental involvement, the aim of the course is to raise student and parental awareness and understanding of the importance and benefits of obtaining postsecondary education.


 “We are very excited to have the opportunity to lead the GEAR UP community in the development of this course, and are honored that the administration at Dunbar Senior High School has been so eager to work with us,” said Pamela Taylor, DC GEAR UP Program Director.  Dr. Harriet Kargbo, Principal of Dunbar Senior High School said that the school was “pleased to provide DC GEAR UP with the support necessary to offer the class for credit.”  She continued, “The college awareness and academic readiness value of this course to our students is unparalleled.”  DC GEAR UP students are also excited about the course: “I feel special being apart of this class; I know that I’ll receive something other students wish they had.”  – Jessica Stevenson



The District of Columbia’s Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (DC GEAR-UP) in collaboration with University Partners and Key Stakeholders, uses a comprehensive approach providing resources and services to empower and prepare underserved students and their families to make informed decisions and pursue post-secondary endeavors.