LA GEAR UP gives highlights

Members of the College of Education are preparing a presentation at the state LA GEAR UP (Louisiana Gaining Early Awareness for Undergraduate Programs) Conference in Baton Rouge Sept. 29-Oct. 1.

The LA GEAR UP Learning Camps have been held at Grambling State University during the summer for the past 5 years. This summer’s program was held in 2 one-week sessions. The camps were designed to focus on the theme, CSI: Grambling (College Success Investigators). Additionally, using CSI (Crime Scene Investigation) projects, campers worked cooperatively with their peers and content area specialists to strengthen basic math, science and reading/literacy skills.

The camp activities were also designed to focus on leadership preparation, math and science tutorials, study skills, test-taking strategies, preparation for college life, and career opportunities in math and science.

To plan and implement the project activities, the GSU LA GEAR UP staff collaborated with administrators and faculty and staff from the College of Education, Chemistry Department, the School of Nursing, Grambling High School, community agencies/organizations and the Louisiana Tech University LA GEAR UP program

The GSU LA GEAR UP Camps resulted from funding received from the Louisiana Board of Regents (LA SIP/LA GEAR UP) for the fifth year. Specifically, 2 professors in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Dr. Loretta Walton Jaggers and Dr. Nanthalia McJamerson, submitted a proposal to the Board of Regents and received $104, 373 to implement 2 one-week camps for seventh-, eighth- and ninth-grade students.

“LA GEAR UP at GSU has resulted in measurable increases on academic tests, in leadership skills, in university recruitment efforts and in priceless motivation for achievement,” Dr. McJamerson said.
During this summer’s Week One there were 54 campers, and during Week Two, 64 campers attended the program. The campers came from LA GEAR UP schools throughout Louisiana and participated in diverse academic, enrichment and recreational activities while learning more about college life. Specifically, the key academic and enrichment activities included explorations/classes that focused on forensic investigations while developing and enhancing basic math, science, and literacy skills.

They participated in Pathfinder/Financial Assistance Workshop activities that were presented by the State LA GEAR staff, and representatives from the GSU Admissions and Financial Aid Offices. Additionally, the campers were exposed to diverse math and science careers through participation in the Explorer’s Club activities.
Special guest speakers from the GSU School of Nursing, Northern Louisiana Medical Center, GSU Department of Physics, GSU Department of Biology, GSU Department of Chemistry, and the College of Education and public schools made special poetry presentations for the campers.

One of the recreational activities that the campers truly enjoyed was the Pool Party at Louisiana Tech University. This event was a partnership activity that was coordinated by Dr. Glenn Beer (State LA GEAR UP coordinator). The other recreational activities included “movie time and pizza night”, “computer -time-fun time,” basketball and table games.

The culminating activity was a field trip to the Crime Lab in Monroe, the Natural Science Museum at ULM, and the Biedenharn Museum and Gardens in Monroe. The Crime Lab experience related to the procedures and equipment that the campers had discussed throughout the week as they worked on “crime scene investigators”.

The graduation ceremony, which was a formal program included presentations of special rewards for campers.

The campers worked toward outstanding accomplishments throughout the week.