Students at Marshalltown High School (MHS) will have the opportunity to access multiple experiences that will help them succeed in post-secondary education with funding provided by the Iowa Future Ready Program at Iowa Future Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs ( GEAR UP).
Last week, Governor Kim Reynolds announced that the program will receive more than $5 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to support districts that GEAR UP partners with, and the Marshalltown Community School District. (MCSD) is one of them. .
MHS director Jacque Wyant said Future Ready is different from previous GEAR UP programs because it focuses specifically on the class of 2025 and will help expose students to a variety of career paths.
Marshalltown has previously received the GEAR UP Grants twice, once for the Class of 2014 and once for the Class of 2020. There is no scholarship attached to the new grant.
The Future Ready program will provide funding for students to have immersive experiences in several different settings and help them decide what the future holds, whether it’s attending a four-year institution, a trade school or even to enter the labor market directly.
Wyant said career fairs, college tours and shadowing opportunities for students to see how people in different fields do their jobs are all ways MHS will do this.
“We really want kids to come into the businesses and have little experiences and these hands-on things,” Wyant said. “So, for example, a student who is on the Grow Your Own Teacher program goes out into the field and is in the classroom and finds out, ‘Oh my God, I can’t be with these little people. I can teach, but I can’t teach little people, so hey, can I have a different experience in middle school or high school? then ‘Oh OK, I feel more comfortable at that level.’ I mean, isn’t it better for them to find out while they’re still in high school than in their third year of college?”
The Future Ready program will also provide a college and career counselor – known as the GEAR UP Coordinator – who will work solely with the class of 2025, checking in and working with the Marshalltown Community College (MCC) counselor to set up a work-based training. learning experiences for students.
Along with these hands-on learning opportunities, Wyant said college visits also play a key role in preparing students for what comes after high school.
“When we visit colleges, we include technical schools. We include core jobs, we include two-year schools across the state that have different programs because they don’t all offer the same programs, then public and private,” Wyant said. “We want to give them a full experience of what’s available to them.”
The Iowa College Student Aid Commission, in conjunction with the Iowa Department of Education, facilitates the GEAR UP Future Ready program, and Wyant said she is happy to work with them to benefit MHS students.
In addition to helping students slated to graduate in 2025 explore different career paths and post-secondary options, the Future Ready program will also help seniors take the next steps after high school graduation by addressing university registration questions as well as financial questions regarding programs like the free application. for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Contact Susanna Meyer at 641-753-6611