Road 2 College

Preparing the Road to College
Posted on 04/12/2022
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The DeSoto ISD NXT Gen GEAR UP grant team has partnered with Texas Tutors to create a Road to College (RTC) program for talented high school students to gain exposure to rigorous academic coursework and to communities of talented peers.  In alignment with the DeSoto ISD Board of Trustees’ goals for student future-readiness, this program provides an opportunity for the selected students who qualified for the Duke Talent Identification Program (TIP) in middle school.  The pandemic significantly disrupted the Duke TIP program’s business models, which were based on providing a high-quality, campus-based, intensive residential experience to large numbers of students, and led Duke to make the difficult decision in 2020 to suspend these residential programs.

Partnering with Texas Tutors to continue the commitment to design approaches to helping these students develop their talents for future success, RTC focuses on building core strengths of academic rigor, student engagement and community involvement.


The collaboration between the GEAR UP and Texas Tutors teams has resulted in an intensive curriculum designed to improve student advancement on the SAT. RTC is led by skilled professionals with extensive experience.


An 11-week, Saturday program, RTC launched with an overview of agendas and expectations of students and parents and continued with weekly focus areas including test preparations and mini-tests, resume writing and mock interviews, and volunteer community service activities.  On April 23rd, students will showcase their portfolios  to family, friends and district personnel. The portfolio will include the following: resume, LinkedIn profile, cover letter and college essay. 

“We’re so excited to be able to launch this program, especially for our former Duke TIP students and parents,” expressed Jereese Johnson, Project Director, Next Generation GEAR UP. “Our students deserve the very best we can offer in academic support, especially those aiming for the highest recognitions like National Merit Scholar.  We want to provide them with every opportunity for success.”


For more information or to monitor the progress of this program, visit or any district social media channels.