NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State University hosted the Louisiana Gear Up ACT Prep workshop Wednesday with more than 200 students representing 11 high schools in Sabine, Red River, Ouachita and Lincoln parishes participating. During the half-day event, students rotated through workshops for test-taking tips in English, science, math and reading led by faculty from NSU’s Gallaspy College of Education and Human Development.
“The event has two goals: to prepare students for the March 17 ACT by teaching them strategies that will help them perform their best on each of the ACT subjects and to provide students with information about academic and career opportunities for students interested in becoming Louisiana teachers,” said Steve Gruesbeck, NSU/Louisiana Gear Up executive director. “The English, science, math and reading experiential workshops were tailor-made by NSU School of Education faculty.”
In addition to the academic tips, NSU faculty also shared practical test day tips like getting a good night’s sleep, eating a protein-rich breakfast and staying positive.
The majority of the students who participated are juniors with some seniors and sophomores, Gruesbeck said.
The ACT workshop was one of a series of events NSU/Louisiana Gear Up has hosted, which has included a leadership summit, an Art Expo and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art Mathematics) workshop. On Aril 9 and April 30, NSU/Louisiana Gear Up will host a Nursing and Allied Health Fair in Shreveport for 50 students each day where they will attend hands-on workshops conducted by NSU faculty and students that simulate a day of nursing clinicals.
While attending the events, students also learn about financial aid, tutoring and other student support services that help schools, students and families better understand resources available to college-bound students.
A federally funded national initiative, Louisiana Gear Up (Louisiana Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) is supported by the U.S. Department of Education, which awards grants to states or institutions of higher learning to create partnerships with high-poverty middle or high schools. In partnership with 16 school districts and the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance (LOSFA), Louisiana Gear Up aims to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in post-secondary education.
“The NSU/Gear Up project is multidisciplinary in scope,” Gruesbeck said. “Programming involves all four colleges of the university with the unified goal of increasing college access and success.”
Information on LA GEAR-UP is available at https://mylosfa.la.gov/schools/la-gearup/.