Iowa Schools GEAR UP For College Attainment at Statewide Conference
Iowa is working hard to reach a 70% college attainment goal for its citizens by the year 2025. GEAR UP Iowa, a program of Iowa College Aid, is at the forefront of this effort and will hold its first GEAR UP Iowa Conference on April 7 and 8 at the Holiday Inn and Suites in Urbandale, IA.
The conference will feature national leaders in education and college affordability who will be joined by educators and community members from across the state of Iowa to discuss building a “college-going” culture in Iowa schools and communities.
“We have worked hard to build a program that promotes maximum impact on student success while continuously striving to be responsive to the needs of schools,” said Christina Sibouih, GEAR UP Iowa’s Program Director. “This conference will allow us to promote efforts in refining and improving GEAR UP Iowa’s work with school and community leaders.”
Ranjit Sidhu, President and CEO of the National Council for Community and Education Partnerships (NCCEP), will provide the opening presentation on Thursday, April 7 to set the tone for the conference. Author and documentarian Adam Carroll, whose recent film “Broke, Busted and Disgusted” looks at the economic difficulties facing students attending college, will be the featured speaker on Friday, April 8.
Other speakers include postsecondary education expert David Ford; Kenneth Williams, author of Unfold The Soul; and Sara Brown Wessling, the 2010 National Teacher of the Year.
Sessions throughout the conference will allow the nearly 130 attending counselors, teachers, administrators and district personnel from schools in the 12 GEAR UP Iowa partner school districts to share ways to engage students beyond the classroom and develop community and parental involvement that helps school districts create and sustain college-going cultures. GEAR UP Iowa school districts include Cedar Rapids, Clinton, Columbus Junction, Davenport, Denison, Des Moines, Fort Dodge, Marshalltown, Ottumwa, Perry, Sioux City and Storm Lake.
“The needs and unique characteristics of the attendees may differ,” said Karen Misjak, Iowa College Aid’s Executive Director, “but our shared purpose and values weave together a powerful and united community under the GEAR UP banner to make postsecondary education a reality for all students.”
To learn more about GEAR UP Iowa, please visit www.GEARUPIowa.gov or contact Iowa College Aid at 877-272-4456.