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GEAR UP partners with UNL to offer tutoring for freshmen

Grand Island Public Schools GEAR UP and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln are partnering to provide tutoring to current freshman students at Grand Island Senior High. 

Tutoring support from UNL students is available to freshmen Monday through Thursday nights from 6-7:30 p.m. (if school is in session). GISH freshmen are able to Zoom with college students for specific homework help in any subject, for study skills advice, or to talk about what it’s like to be a college student. 

GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) focuses on college readiness for students. The tutoring program is jointly funded by GEAR UP and UNL.

“I’m so excited to have UNL collaborate with us to provide this opportunity to our students in the Academy of Freshman Exploration at Grand Island Senior High,” said GEAR UP Director Dr. Allison Bailey.

UNL agreed it is a positive partnership for both GISH and UNL students.

“As the coordinator for secondary education, one of the things I hear from students is that they don’t get enough experience working with kids early on in their programs,” said UNL Coordinator of Secondary Education Lorraine Males. 

This project gives UNL students that opportunity to work with high school students. 

Dr. Maggie Mintken, Principal of the Academy of Freshman Exploration, said the addition of UNL tutoring has been a highlight of the school year.

“Our students are reporting that it is so nice to have a college student explain something to them. My observation has been that this gives our students the opportunity to see themselves in the UNL tutors,” Dr. Mintken said. “The UNL students can connect and relate to the feelings a high school freshman may be going through.”

Parents are welcome to attend the tutoring session with their student. A GIPS staff member is also always available to monitor the Zoom sessions. 

“We love to see how families are encouraging their students to focus on their academics,” Dr. Bailey said.

The tutors are current UNL students who are Pre-Service teachers in different subject areas. UNL professors and GISH Academy of Freshman Exploration teachers collaborate on what unit skills and concepts tutors will provide that extend the classroom learning.

“This is an opportunity to provide extra academic support to our students so they can focus on their studies. We also want our students to be able to make connections with current college students, so they can better understand what it means to be a college student,” Dr. Bailey said.

For more information about the UNL tutoring program, please email Dr. Bailey (GEAR UP Director) or Dr. Mintken (Principal of the GISH Academy of Freshman Exploration) at

Media Inquiries
Mitchell Roush , Marketing & Communications
308-385-5900 ex. 201127