GEAR UP in the News

Last month, Cal State Fullerton was awarded a seven-year, $7.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education for the university’s Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, or GEAR UP.

The program helps Anaheim junior high school students create a pathway to college by providing them with peer tutors, college counseling, summer academies, college exposure field trips and more.

“Access programs like GEAR UP are so important,” said Berenecea Johnson Eanes, the university’s vice president for student affairs, in a news release. “For underrepresented students, these programs are like a window to the world. They can have such a great impact. We are very excited about the opportunities we can provide these students.”

First-year funding is $1.1 million.

Wichita State University is partnering with Wichita Public Schools to host "Together We Rise," a conference in celebration of National GEAR UP Day. The event is at 9:30 a.m. Friday, Oct. 2, at Century II Concert Hall.

The conference will have 90 sessions within the Hyatt Regency Wichita and Century II for students and parents to attend, with lunch provided.

GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) is a national organization designed to prepare low-income students to enter and succeed in post-secondary education.

PROVIDENCE — Lorena Arango’s student advisees at Central High School lack many of the economic and social advantages that studies show propel their more affluent peers to college and careers.

Yet these students from predominantly poor, immigrant families in Rhode Island are among the high school graduates who enrolled in college this fall — including one at Brown University.

Personal fortitude? Certainly. Resilience? For sure. Luck? That, too. But these students also have one more thing in common: They’re all College Crusaders.

A study to be published in the forthcoming issue of the New England Journal of Higher Education found that the College Crusade of Rhode Island’s GEAR UP program increased students’ chances of enrolling in college by more than 37 percent.

Schools across the nation and Oklahoma recently marked Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, also known as GEAR UP Week.

“GEAR UP helps students and families by improving awareness of college opportunities and by making it easier for students to access and enroll in college,” said Oklahoma Higher Education Chancellor Glen D. Johnson.

“Oklahoma GEAR UP partnership helps Woodward students better prepare for college,” said Kristi Allison, spokesman for Oklahoma State Regents of Higher Education. “Since 1999, Oklahoma has received three consecutive, multi-year, statewide GEAR UP grants and has helped improve educational outcomes for thousands of Oklahoma students.”

PRINCETON — Students at Pikeview Middle School are receiving an opportunity to learn more about life after graduation.

The middle school students kicked off the start of year with their first meeting of ‘Gear Up’ at a Thursday night football game. Students played cornhole and mingled as they learned about options after high school.

“Gear Up is a federally funded grant program that stands for gaining early awareness and readiness for undergraduate programs,” Pikeview Middle School Gear Up Coordinator Christina Buckland said.

Annie Robertson and Tanya Williams, the Gear Up facilitators at Sweet Water High School, recently kicked off the Gear Up program with a week of events including a Pep Rally with guest speakers and a balloon release.

Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) is a discretionary grant program designed to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. This is accomplished by providing activities aimed at increasing college attendance and completion by raising low-income students’ awareness of college and financial aid options, increasing their participation in academically challenging courses, and supporting them through the college admissions process.


Taylor Everhart, center, a senior elementary education major at Appalachian State University, prepares to lead a group of middle school students on a tour of campus. The students from Ashe County Middle School were among 1,350 students from Ashe, Alleghany, Yancey and Burke counties who were on campus Sept. 18 for GEAR UP Day. Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) is designed to accelerate the academic achievement of middle and secondary school students so that increasing numbers will graduate from high school and enroll and succeed in college. It provides early information about college options, required courses, and financial aid; works to increase the participation and success of students in college “gateway” courses such as algebra; provides information to families about the costs of college and the availability of student financial assistance; and provides intensive tutoring, mentoring, and counseling programs that meet students’ needs, among other activities.

This is GEAR UP week across the nation and Goldendale is celebrating its 10th year with the program at Goldendale schools. GEAR UP stands for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs. The program mission is to significantly increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in post-secondary education.

GEAR UP funds are federal Department of Education grants and in Washington, the University of Washington and Washington State University are two recipients of the grants, administering programs in different areas of the state. Goldendale currently receives $159,000 through the University of Washington grant and the program leader is Molly Fahlenkamp.

Honolulu, Hawai‘i – Hawai‘i will be celebrating the success of GEAR UP Hawai‘i, a college-access program that serves over 16,000 low-income students statewide, during National GEAR UP Week 2015, starting September 21. Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) is funded by the U.S. Department of Education to provide students and families the resources they need to succeed in college. Since its inception in 1999, the national GEAR UP program has improved educational outcomes for millions of low-income students across the United States.

The program aims to broaden college awareness, expand academic readiness and increase postsecondary success among Hawai‘i’s public school students. GEAR UP Hawai‘i collaborates with the Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) and the University of Hawai‘i (UH) System as well as the government, nonprofit and private sectors to provide information, encouragement, support, resources and services and help eliminate achievement gaps among groups traditionally underrepresented in higher education.

COTTONWOOD - Getting students into college is one thing. Getting them to succeed once they get there is another. GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) is helping students clear both hurdles.

"There are only 10 districts in the state that have GEAR UP and we are one of them," said Gretchen Wesbrock, GEAR UP coordinator and counselor for the Mingus High School Class of 2018.

"It supports students to not only be prepared to access postsecondary education, but to be successful once they get there," Wesbrock said.

Francisco Aviles Pino said his parents—both of them college-educated immigrants from Mexico—always talked to him about the importance of going to college. Yet during his freshman year at Katella High School in Anaheim, Calif., his grades dropped, and he felt college wasn't for him.

"My mom, when she saw my report card, she broke down in front of me," he said. "I remember that very vividly. She wanted me to go to college so bad."

Today, the 19-year-old is a sophomore at Fullerton College double majoring in ethnic studies and political science. He has plans to transfer to a four-year university to continue his education and is applying to several schools this year.

Pre-college Advisor Janelle Martin addressed the city council Sept. 14, and spoke about the Gear Up program that assists in teaching students college basics.

The program is federally funded, she said, and the week of Sept. 21, is National Gear Up week.

"Colorado Gear Up is a division of the Colorado Department of Higher Education," she said. "It was signed into law by President Clinton in 1998 and is a competitive grant funded by the US Department of Higher Education."

Oklahoma GEAR UP is celebrating ongoing success in helping Checotah students and families prepare for college during National GEAR UP Week, Sept. 21-25. The celebration highlights Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP), a college access program funded through the U.S. Department of Education a media release states.

Oklahoma GEAR UP is administered by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.

From the West Alabama Newsroom--  A new program underway in Selma and Dallas County is designed to raise the high school graduation rate and equip students to successfully move on to college -- or enter the workforce.

GEAR-UP Alabama is a new initiative that uses a two-pronged approach to help students become more college or career ready after high school. Officials with the program say it focuses its efforts and resources in schools -- and in the home.

"Our goal is to get our students better prepared to get into school and be successful in school," said program director Dr. Veronique Zimmerman-Brown.

CIBOLA COUNTY – Grants-Cibola County Schools is hosting the New Mexico kickoff celebration to inaugurate National GEAR UP week today, Sept. 22 at 9 a.m. at Grants High School.

The week commemorates the continuing success of Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP), a college access program providing students and families the support and resources they need for college success.