Academic Support Services

Academic refers to a wide variety of instructional methods, educational services, or schools resources provided to students to help them be successful in their learning process. It is a practice that encompasses a broad array of educational strategies including tutoring sessions, supplemental courses, summer learning experiences, lunch/after school programs, as well as alternative ways of grouping, advising, and instructing students while in the classroom as well as within the GEAR UP office.

PSAT & SAT Bootcamps

Throughout the year students will have the opportunity to participate in PSAT Bootcamps leading up to the big test! Engaging, expert instructors help students become prepared and confident with time-management and test-taking strategies. Students will learn key content for success and pacing and effective guessing strategies for every type of question. A workbook will be provided for each student with exercises to complete during the event and with additional practice leading up to test day.

National GEAR UP Week

National GEAR UP Week is an opportunity for GEAR UP programs nation-wide to share the large positive impact GEAR UP has locally. It's a time to engage all stakeholders - local, state and federal elected officials; funders; partners; and media - to display GEAR UP accomplishments and to encourage involvement in services to students and families. GEAR UP Waterbury celebrates National GEAR UP Week with events that help build the Waterbury GEAR UP community and help students progress towards their life-long dream of going to college!

City of Waterbury GEAR UP Week Proclamation

After-School Programming

In partnership with Waterbury Public Schools, GEAR UP Waterbury has prioritized SEL (Social-Emotional Learning) programming to help students learn further to cope and deal with their stress and worries. While creating safe in-person and virtual learning environments for the students, staff present a variety of lessons on self-awareness, relationship skills, and growth mindset, to name a few, while building a supportive space to encourage discussion and an opportunity to practice these evolving skills.Academic support including homework assistance, college and career readiness advising and leadership opportunities are also provided during the after-school sessions to all GEAR UP students. Check out our events calendar for more information about GEAR UP after-school programming at your school!

Summer Programming

Waterbury GEAR UP summer programming is designed to help students improve their academic foundations, develop their interests to spark new passions, explore potential career paths, learn about college and help build new skill sets for their future success.  
Summer programs are hosted at Naugatuck Valley Community College, allowing students an experience that prepares them to be better prepared to interact with faculty members and fellow students as they enter their post-secondary education.

GEAR UP Summer 2022

College & Career Exposure

Creating a school-wide college-going culture, allowing students to explore college and career options, and providing awareness of postsecondary requirements are essential components of the GEAR UP Connecticut program. Early and regular exposure to these topics will increase student aspirations, enhance motivation to perform well academically, and improve a student’s college fit/match. GEAR UP students will be able to participate in a variety of college visits throughout Connecticut during the school year.

College Application & Enrollment

College Application and Enrollment refers to the knowledge and skills that enable students to successfully transition into post-secondary education. Students and families will know the options they have to help fund their education, how to determine college fit, financial aid requirements, including how to complete a FAFSA, admission criteria and application processes. Students and families will have the knowledge they need to make informed decisions after graduation from high school.

Family Engagement

Families play a fundamental role in their children's education and achievement of their educational objectives. GEAR UP offers a variety of family workshops and college & career exposure events open to all families in the program.  Whether you're looking for strategies to save for your child's education or ways to encourage them as they prepare to leave home for college, GEAR UP Waterbury is here to help.

Engaging Speakers

Carlos Ojeda, Jr. with Cool Speak presented the ‘Power of Youth,’ showing students that their voice is their power and that power can help them change their lives, families, communities, and our world.

National STEM Week

GEAR UP Waterbury hosted a variety of workshops and presentations during National STEM week in November. This was a great opportunity for students to have hands on experience conducting various experiments throughout the week. Students also participated in group discussions around college and career pathways as related to those experiments.

Photos from the  STEM projects used at Kennedy High School with Flinn fingerprinting kit that teaches students how to identify and classify fingerprints as related to the science of forensics and solving crimes.  Students classified their own fingerprints and were able to solve identification of criminals.  Staff also conducted a presentation of the many different careers in criminal justice and forensics using modern technology.