One of the primary objectives for the creation of GEAR UP 4 LA’s network of web portals is to help more students get into college.
GEAR UP 4 LA is part of the nationwide GEAR UP organization, which stands for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, a federally funded initiative that works to address challenges faced by the low income, first-generation, minority students who make up almost 50% of today’s college population. Through a competitive process, awardees receive six- or seven-year grants to provide services designed to meet this challenge.
GEAR UP 4 LA’s unique cohort model follows the same group of students for six years, meaning current ninth and tenth graders have been with GEAR UP 4 LA since 2011. Another 7-year grant began in 2014 and serves students from the graduating classes of 2020-21. Currently, they serve approximately 6,500 students in total.
We created the existing GEAR UP 4 LA web portal back in 2015. Since then, there has been significant growth in the number of students and programs.
The current web site presented a number of challenges for the organization. The most significant was that the schools involved with the GEAR UP program all had separate websites that they maintained. The directive was to create a portal for each school on the main GEAR UP site that the schools could maintain. This achieves two goals. The first is to standardize the information provided by the schools and the second is to get students and parents to explore the GEAR UP site on a regular basis.
Other features of the web portals include:
-A custom events plug-in
-Scholarship listing integration
Recently launched last week, we set up a tutorial inservice with all the school site managers. We spent about an hour bringing them up to speed on the new administrative backend tools. We provided a user manual and designed an easy method for them to do updates to important information.
We are so excited to be able to help GEAR UP 4 LA achieve their website goals. The advanced web development we do for our clients is dynamic and has the ability to change and grow as the needs of our clients change It’s important that we don’t design ourselves into a corner by not properly vetting the potential growth our client’s business in the very early stages of development.