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Soar Your Way to College

GEAR UP’s Top 10 Ways

to Get Yourself Ready! Photo Gallery Inside:
Newsletter Spring 2010
Spotlight on: Shead High School 
Open Educational Resources (OER) & Content Literacy Learning
District Planning 2010-2011 
GEAR UP Surveys Graduates
1. l Read. Goodbye Betsy, Forming a Maine College 
GEAR UP Webinars
2. Take classes that
Hello Corinna Access Network (MaineCAN) GEAR UP Student to Attend Career Center
stretch your brain. National Youth Leadership Summit Helping Students Navigate
the Future
3. Maintain at least a B Cassandra Dana of Indian Township, a senior at Lee Academy, has been
average. In its inaugural year, Portland
selected to participate in the GEAR UP Youth Leadership
High School’s Career Center
Summit this July in Washington, D.C. Her application essay
4. Ask for HELP—forge has been a great asset to
drew parallels between her culture’s tradition of basket-
students. In an informal setting,
relationships with making and her educational experiences and aspirations, local speakers met with
and concluded with, “I
teachers & guidance hope to be accepted, to [Cassandra’s] application essay
students to discuss potential
career paths. Speakers included
counselors. better my future, so that drew parallels between her a psychologist, electrical
one day, I can give back culture’s tradition of basket- engineer, physical therapist, a
5. Develop your own to my people, the making and her educational representative from the water
healthy way(s) to Passamaquoddy Tribe.” experiences and aspirations. district, and people from the
business community. The
de-stress. Of nearly 300 applicants, Cassandra was one of only 32 center was also used to conduct
Emma Irish, Cassandra Dana, and
high school students nationwide selected to take part in the junior interviews during which
6. Do something good— A heartfelt thank you to Tracey Nute Summit, which includes an all-expenses paid trip to students reflected on their lives
GEAR UP Liaison Betsy Emerson Washington, D.C. A consistent honor student, Cassandra is thus far and thought about the
volunteer! (left) for her years of working a member of the National Honor Society and the Lee Academy Community Service possibilities in their futures.
with GEAR UP and supporting Seniors came in for support
7. Get an af terschool or hundreds of Sumner students in
Club. She graduated, with high honors, from Lee Academy on Saturday, June 5, and
with their many deadlines and
plans to attend the University of Maine at Orono in the fall, majoring in journalism.
their postsecondary aspirations. requirements, and FAFSA nights
summer job. Betsy retired this year and
Cassandra is the daughter of Nicholas Dana and Annette Dana of Indian Township.
were held during which parents
handed the GEAR UP reins to came to the career center to get
Corinna Domagala (right). GEAR UP staff helped bring together the Congratulations, Cassandra, from all of us at GEAR UP – we hope you have a
8. Spend your v
one-on-one assistance from
Welcome, Corinna! Maine College Access Network for a kick-off wonderful trip! 
guidance counselors and
summers wisely. meeting and work session. FAFSA specialists. Throughout

9. Get involved—join a Everybody Likes PIE! Promising Practices in College Access the year a group of faculty met
regularly in a professional
club/team/activity "The term ‘college access’ today suggests not only entry into postsecondary edu-
learning community (PLC) to
Narraguagus explore new ways to grow and
and commit to it. cation but also the myriad challenges it poses for many students, particularly minority

High School expand, including the idea of
and low-income students. Researchers contend that tuition costs, racial discrimination,
10. Talk to people who received a $500 piloting a career class which
Creativity Inno-
social disadvantages, and lack of adequate academic preparedness have contributed to would integrate the career
have gone to college. vation and the vast under-representation of these groups of students on college and university center into the high school’s
Imagination campuses." (Education Week, 2004) academic curriculum. 
Award from the
MDOE for their GEAR UP uses a multi-tiered approach to support students who face such challenges.
video documen- Each district receives funding to raise the bar on their college access programs, and
tary of PIE individualized support is provided all year from our regional coordinators. Income-
Night. eligible GEAR UP graduates receive up to $5,550 per year in GEAR UP scholarships.
This totals up to $22,200 over the life of a student’s college career!
PIE stands for Promoting Individual
Education. It is an event that fosters family Maine’s current GEAR UP grant expires in 2011, and we are already in the process of
involvement and truly helps pave the way for collaborating and brainstorming to apply for another 6-year grant. Please visit our
navigating the often daunting journey of applying to college. website for a collection of promising practices in college access that our staff collected
based on experience and research. These practices will guide the next GEAR UP grant
This newsletter was produced with GEAR UP funds awarded to the Maine Department of Education by the Office of Postsecondary Education,
application. Please contact Beth Achille, if you have
U.S. Department of Education (grant award #P334S050037) and compiled by; feedback, ideas, or are interested in being involved with the grant-writing team. 
Maine Support Network, P.O. Box 390 Readfield, ME 04355 p) 866-291-0004 f) 866-883-9271,,
This newsletter was produced with GEAR UP funds awarded to the Maine Department of Education by the Office of Postsecondary Education, U.S. Department of Education (grant award #P334S050037).
SPOTLIGHT ON: Open Educational
Technology Page Resources (OER) to
Shead High School *New* GEAR UP Improve Content
Webinars Literacy Learning
This winter and spring Governor Baldacci recognized the
By Jean Schild, GEAR UP Coordinator at Eastport School Department Beth Achille and Wendy Allen Maine Content Literacy
have hosted seven different Project (MCLP), a statewide
Shead is a small, rural high school with a unique resource: a well-functioning, student-centered community. When I professional development initiative in its second year of a 6
was hired a year ago as the GEAR UP Coordinator, a comment that stood out was, “We are a community here and we webinars for GEAR UP Liaisons year Title II funded grant. MCLP
expect you to be part of it.” This attitude has fostered a strong collaborative approach among GEAR UP (GU), Maine and school staff. A variety of includes a partnership with 5
Indian Education (MIE), guidance, faculty, and MELMAC to deliver integrated services. topics were covered including regional educational partnerships,
41 schools in 19 districts, and 4
strategies for incorporating
Last year, GU developed Historically, this Downeast fishing community of Eastport and Pleasant University of Maine campuses. 18
middle schools into high
a bridge role, providing Point Reservation has struggled with poverty and limited opportunities. This expressed of the participating schools are
Screenshot from the Maine Apprenticeship Program school college access work,
itself in a high dropout rate. The MIE program experienced a 40% dropout rate. GEAR UP schools, and GEAR UP
career inventory Webinar held in Adobe Connect. parent engagement, creating
Currently that rate has significantly dropped to between 10-15%, with 50% of those regional coordinators Betty Jordan
profiles that were and sustaining a district college and Wendy Allen are both
graduating going on to higher education. While this dropout rate is still above the state access planning team, and creating a college access district action plan. In
administered and average, it is a big improvement. involved with MCLP, which is
discussed one-on-one addition, the College Board and the Maine Apprenticeship Program were invited to housed at UMF and directed by
share opportunities available to GEAR UP schools and students through their Margaret Arbuckle.
with all GU students. Over the past six years, a model program has evolved. MIE provides a two-pronged programs.
approach. The coordinator, Patty Neptune, provides tremendous emotional and
This year MCLP was awarded a
advocacy support to her students, and their 21st Century Afterschool Program offers academic skill development in a We will be continuing these webinars on the Adobe Connect platform next fall Title IID Technology grant, “Use
fun and rewarding manner. Last year, GU developed a bridge role, providing career inventory profiles that were based on the areas of focus identified in the district annual plans.  of OERs to Improve Content
administered and discussed one-on-one with all GU students. These profiles are also used in GU/MIE student special Literacy and Learning,” through
education meetings to shed light on learning styles and academic interests/strengths. member district SAD 13. Open
The message sent to students is “how can we help you succeed?” instead of, “this is The message sent to GEAR UP Surveys Graduates via Facebook Educational Resources are free
what you are doing wrong and here is what you must do.” students is “how can we and open online tools and con-
Where are GEAR UP graduates now? What can we learn from tent, including courses, textbooks,
help you succeed?” instead them? In an attempt to answer these questions, a survey was disseminated
Faculty participate in Student Assistant Teams that also strive to identify the causes of streaming videos, software and
student problems and provide supportive help and academic adjustments to help a of, “this is what you are via Facebook to over 300 GEAR UP graduates. other materials supporting teach-
student succeed. Students participate as full partners in these sessions. Additionally, doing wrong and here is “Having one person ing and learning. Units will be
One of the GEAR UP objectives is that students are involved in
this year faculty decided to use Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) scores to build what you must do.” to wish you well is developed in the content areas of
a personalized learning process where they document their
critical thinking skills into the 9-12 humanities curriculum.
interests, goals, and plans, and keep a portfolio of their best
nice, but the power English/Language Arts, Social
Studies, Science and Math. Laura
work. Will West, a Deering High School graduate, wrote, “I of a community
Finally, a grant from the MELMAC Foundation provides college field trips and FAFSA preparation assistance. In Bryant, a fourth grade teacher at
kept a portfolio of work and still do. It displays various forms of backing you is Ella Lewis School, developed a
addition, Shead graduates who are currently in college act as mentors for any incoming freshmen attending those
colleges from Shead. my work with strengths and weaknesses. A lot of it demon- empowering.” science unit about weathering
strates my science ability and I recently added my University of and erosion, and Allison Willard,
Maine Honors Thesis to it...I now am at Western Illinois University obtaining my graduate math instructor at Jonesport-Beals
Shead is proud of the optimum and successful use of the resources we have. Student individualization, collaboration,
certificate in zoo and aquarium studies and I am applying to Notre Dame for my High School, developed a unit for
and community are key components in this success.
Ph.D.” Christien Cowper, a graduate of Mt. Abram High School added, “It provides Algebra II. Allison said about the
OER project that “This project
something for me to look back at now (four years into college), to see what I was doing in
will allow Maine educators--
District Planning for 2010-2011 Underway! high school. It's fun to see how my writing has changed, how much I've grown. It's like a
especially in the field of mathe-
little time capsule.” matics where the idea of literacy
College access teams from GEAR UP school districts are meeting this When asked, “Who has supported you in your dreams and helped you to succeed?” as part of math is still growing--to
spring to develop their 2010-11 action plans. Team members include adminis- responses were powerful and affirmed the importance of a caring adult in a young see practical, teacher-piloted ex-
trators, guidance counselors, GEAR UP Liaisons, leaders for district college amples of how easy and powerful
person’s success. Many responses gave credit to teachers, principals, and advisors who
access initiatives, teachers, community and family members, students, and it can be to include literacy and
others. After reviewing student achievement data from their schools and helped them recognize their inner potential. Chance Raymond, a Lee Academy graduate
technology not only in math but
collaboratively identifying GEAR UP indicators on which they can improve, wrote, “Emma Irish, she is the greatest GEAR UP Advisor and is always there for the in other content areas.”
teams create a detailed and comprehensive plan to achieve those goals. The students. She helped me decide what college would be best for me.” Others wrote about
GEAR UP program aligns and leverages resources that are already in place, so their family, and Piscataquis Community High School graduate Victoria Tracy spoke to For more information about
if a school already has a leadership, college access, or School Improvement the importance of her community. “Having one person to wish you well is nice, but the MCLP, please contact Margaret
Plan team they are encouraged to weave the GEAR UP action plan into this power of a community backing you is empowering.” Arbuckle at
work. Regional Coordinators assist district teams through the planning and 
implementation process, and best practices and innovative ideas are shared Are you a GEAR UP graduate with a story to share?
throughout the state.  Friend us at 