ERIC Number: ED482463
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2003-Nov
The Sustainability of GEAR UP Project Initiatives in East Tennessee Middle Schools: A Study of the Residual Impacts of the University of Tennessee GEAR UP Partnership.
Skolits, Gary; Lashley, Terry; King, Peggy
The Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) program was implemented in a partnership between the University of Tennessee (UT) and two rural East Tennessee school systems. The study addressed the residual impact of UT GEAR UP on middle school teachers and schools that were left behind as the cohort progressed to project high schools. The study also examined the extent to which GEAR UP project elements were sustained approximately 1 year later. The UT GEAR UP project provided interventions to only one cohort of students, the class of 2006. Services began in 2000-2001, and, although they continue at the high school level, they have been completed for the middle school level. The study used data collected as part of the annual reporting requirements and findings of the projects external evaluator. In addition, teacher participants for the study of sustainability were the 50 teachers in the 14 middle schools that participated in the project years and administrators at those schools. Findings show that 1 year after the project terminated, teachers and administrators continued to hold favorable attitudes about the activities and interventions. There was some evidence of residual impacts of the program, but few project interventions were actually sustained at a meaningful level a year later. Lack of resources, lack of time, and lack of overall project leadership and staff were reported as barriers to sustaining GEAR UP initiatives. From the perspective of sustainability, these schools need immediate support. It appears unlikely that the project can be sustained at the high school level after the graduation of the project cohort. There is, however, some evidence that GEAR UP project efforts are consistent with recognized dimensions of meaningful school change. (Contains 37 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Mid-South Educational Research Association (Biloxi, MS, November 5-7, 2003).