GEAR UP Launches Student Services Model Project (SSMP)

Summer 2006 | | September 21, 2006 at 4:57 pm

The California GEAR UP Student Services Model Project (SSMP) is underway at Jackman Middle School in the Elk Grove Unified School district of Sacramento.

As a model six-year project, activities and services are specifically designed for a cohort of 7th graders, to accompany their transition from middle to high school, providing them the tools, resources, and information to choose and succeed in college. Most of the 7th grade class of 578 students now at Jackman Middle School will attend Valley High School where academic support services to the students and their families will continue as they prepare for college entrance.

The project was launched on April 17, as part of College Day at Jackman, with the entire class schedule for all 7th graders dedicated to college preparation, including a College Fair at noon. At 7:00 am, 17 school buses transported the 600 plus eighth graders to area colleges for a campus visit. As the 7th grade students rotated through six different college workshops, they learned about financial aid, academic planning, and PSAT/SAT/ACT testing. A student panel of high school and college students shared their candid experiences about transitioning and preparing for college.

Jackman is now home to its own “College Corner,” a mobile computer kiosk for educators, families and students to access the California GEAR UP Resources and Materials Clearinghouse. GEAR UP will provide on-site training for school staff to integrate this resource with the Student Services Model Project. Middle School Counselor Bill Tocher, as part of the SSMP team, expressed excitement and support for the project.

While interacting with college students during the college fair, students collected information from a variety of local campuses including Sacramento State University, University of the Pacific, and University of California – Berkeley and Davis campuses. Program participants included MESA, AVID, the Early Academic Outreach Program (Davis), ACT and the Family Initiatives Project.

For more information, contact Crystal Graves, Project Coordinator, at (916) 698-3906 or via e-mail at

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