The Opportunity The GEAR UP TN site coordinator is a full-time; six-year grant-funded position focused on dramatically increasing the number of Tennessee students who access and succeed in higher education. This position is, at minimum, an 11-month position. Ideal candidates will be representative of the populations they will service and will have succeeded in overcoming the barriers to postsecondary success that face the students served by GEAR UP TN.
Background GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) is a pre-college initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Education and administered by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC). Tennessee’s project, operating under the name GEAR UP TN, aims to dramatically increase the number of Tennessee students who access and succeed in higher education.
To this end, GEAR UP TN provides students with a clear path to college. GEAR UP TN works with Collaboratives of community partners across the state to promote college readiness and success. Each GEAR UP TN Collaborative includes at least one priority high school, one middle school, a higher education institution, the local board of education, and at least two community-based partners. GEAR UP TN, through the Collaboratives, provides students with direct services, including mentoring, tutoring, college visits, financial aid counseling, and academic interventions.
This is a professional student support position responsible for managing daily GEAR UP TN program operations and activities for students and parents. The position requires programmatic, data management, and counseling responsibilities.
Key Responsibilities Deliver GEAR UP TN services in assigned school(s) with the intent to increase students’ academic readiness for higher education and dramatically increase the number of students who access and succeed in postsecondary education. In collaboration with district administration, school administration, and community partners, develop and implement an annual GEAR UP TN work plan and budget that support students in meeting college and career ready benchmarks. Implement and coordinate individualized college access and success services by interacting on a daily basis with middle and high school students and parents/families. Services will include, but are not limited to: academic planning and preparation, career exploration, tutoring, mentoring, college visits, financial aid planning, summer enrichment activities, summer melt initiatives, leadership training, annual orientation events, FAFSA submission, and college application completion.
-Work with school administration to expand a school and community-wide culture of college access and success;
implement faculty professional development focused on college readiness, access, and success.
-Encourage every student to consider a broad range of appropriate postsecondary choices with an emphasis
placed on exploring and identifying students’ best-fit options.
Assist in the implementation of statewide college access and success initiatives including, but not limited to, Path
to College Events, CollegeforTN.org, TN FAFSA Frenzy, etc.
-Leverage data to ensure GEAR UP TN services are tailored to meet school needs and that services are delivered to
the intended student, parent/family member, and educator participants.
- Collaborate with other GEAR UP TN site coordinators to share best practices and promote efficient use of
resources in meeting GEAR UP TN goals and objectives.
-Ensure compliance with all grant requirements as determined by THEC and the U.S. Department of Education.
- Submit required grant-related reports focused on program implementation and student outcomes including, but
not limited to: monthly activity plans, completed activity reports, and annual performance reports.
-Assist in data collection and evaluation aimed at grant compliance and long-term sustainability of the program
- Maintain program data and documentation including GEAR UP TN student academic records and student, family,
and educator service participation in an online database, as required by federal program requirements.
-Monitor success of the initiative, including levels of participation, quality of activities and impact in terms of
student achievement, attendance, educational expectations, and behaviors.
-Participate in GEAR UP TN meetings and professional development opportunities sponsored by THEC and the
National Council for Community and Education Partnerships.
-Work in collaboration with school and district staff to ensure timely and accurate submission of expenditures for
-Leverage community resources, solicit in-kind contributions of goods and services, and maintain proper records
for all expenditures and grant match requirements.
-Establish productive working relationships with principals, counselors, teachers, and community partners in
assigned middle and high schools.
-Assess, in consultation with the GEAR UP TN staff and direct service school personnel, the particular needs of
assigned school, and adapt programs and activities to meet these needs.
-Actively seek the advice and counsel of the school administrators, faculty, and community members at assigned