Fifth and Sixth Grade Sacaton Students Get Taste of College Life Off the Reservation

<p>MESA, Ariz. Fifth and sixth grade students from Sacaton schools are gearing up for a summer program that will have them engaged in math, science, engineering and technology. Arizona State University's Polytechnic campus and Chandler-Gilbert Community College are teaming up for a second year to offer the GEAR-UP Summer Residential Program that provides students an opportunity to improve their academic skills and learn to establish obtainable academic and career goals.</p><separator></separator><p> &quot;The curriculum includes hands-on projects with an emphasis on building student confidence in succeeding academically,&quot; said Phillip Huebner, director of the Office of American Indian Programs at ASU's Polytechnic campus.</p><separator></separator><p> Twenty-five students will participate in this two-week program that begins on Monday, June 4, and ends Friday, June 15. In addition to studying, hands-on exploratory activities and field trips, the students are also given opportunities to unwind.</p><separator></separator><p>&quot;Because this is a residential program, it's intense, and students may get a little homesick.&quot; said Huebner. &quot;So we incorporate sports and other recreation-type activities into the day to help them cope with being away from home and off the reservation, possibly for the first time in their lives.&quot;</p><separator></separator><p>The program will help improve the student's academic skills, involves them in career exploration and in preparation for success in college.</p><separator></separator><p>Huebner believes that programs such as the GEAR-UP program are important to pique students' interests about college early in their academic career.</p><separator></separator><p>&quot;Because of programs like this one and others that we offer, we are experiencing an increase in the number of American Indian students attending college and graduating.&quot;</p>