The Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) is a federally funded initiative administered by the United States Department of Education. Since 1999, the California GEAR UP Program has been administered by the University of California with a charge to lead systemic reform through a programmatic focus on enhancing the organizational capacity of middle schools to prepare ALL students for success after high school.

The California GEAR UP Program serves primarily the adults who impact secondary school students: faculty, counselors, administrators, and families. Only schools in which at least 51 percent of students eligible for free- or reduced-lunch programs can participate in this Program.

Not Your Standard Partnership Model

The California GEAR UP model differs from the Partnership model in terms of participants. The GEAR UP Partnership Programs follow a cohort of students starting in middle school as contrasted to the California GEAR UP Program that supports the adults who directly serve the students.

Systems Transformation Model


The Whole School Model’s goal is to develop and sustain the capacity of feeder sets of middle and high schools to prepare all students for higher education through a systemic network of support for adults—teachers as well as counselors, school leaders, and families—who influence secondary school students. This expanded capacity is expected to result in a higher proportion of students, particularly from backgrounds and communities that historically have not pursued a college education, graduating from high school able to access the greatest number of postsecondary choices from the widest array of options without the need for remediation.

Bridge Model


The Bridge Model serves to strengthen the connections among all schools in a local high school feeder pattern and assists with intersegmental transitions. Data will be collected to measure the impact on student achievement and retention and will provide valuable information about the importance of aligning curriculum, increased communication across educational levels, and the ability for California GEAR UP to assist in sustaining a college-going culture.

Systemic Impact Model


The Systemic Impact Model is at the core of the Program’s intentionality to create systemic statewide change in that lessons learned, effective practices developed, and resources created are expected to be infused into the state’s educational reform movement. The more members of various societal sectors involved and impacted by this model, the greater the chances to transform the educational system such that it is more equitable, effective, and efficient for all students.

Schools We Serve

Riverside County Office of Education

Dartmouth Middle School
Gorgonio Middle School
Hamilton Middle School
Villegas Middle School
Arizona Middle School
Wells Middle School
Rancho Viejo Middle School
Hemet High School
Beumont High School
Hamilton High School
Hillcrest High School
La Sierra High School
Tahquitz High School

Sac City Unified School District

Will C. Wood Middle School
Einstein Middle School
John Still Middle School
Hiram Johnson High School
Rosemont High School
Burbank High School

Tulare Unified School District

Corcoran High School
John Muir Middle School
Farmersville High School
Farmersville JR High School
Woodlake High School
Woodlake Middle School

San Diego Unified School District

Knox Middle School
Millennial Tech Middle School
Montgomery Middle School
Taft Middle School
Bell Middle School
Lincoln High School
Kearney High School
Morse High School