Who We Are

Diverse group of teachers at a conference

Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) is a United States Department of Education (USDOE) discretionary grant program designed to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. The USDOE confers six- or seven-year state and partnership GEAR UP grants to provide services at high-poverty middle and high schools.

Program Goal

The program goal is to develop and sustain the capacity of feeder sets of middle and high schools to prepare all students for the greatest number of postsecondary choices without the need for remediation in mathematics or English language arts.

Program Intended Outcomes

There are ten program intended outcomes used as short and long term focus areas to align supports and services toward the program's goal.

Intended Outcome Description
1. Increase Student Course Readiness A student is course ready if they have met the minimum course expectations and are able to successfully complete the next sequential course with a C or better without the need for remediation in order to persist in A-G coursework.
2. Increase Student College Preparedness College preparedness refers to student and family understanding of the college-going process and expectations, and student access to, enrollment, and success in A-G coursework.
3. Increase in Effective Teaching Practices Effective teaching practices include, but are not limited to,  subject matter and pedagogical content knowledge, understanding of state-adopted standards and rigor expectations, cultural responsiveness, supportive student relationships and classroom environment, and college-going/on-track expectations for all students.
4. Increase Use of Data for Instructional Decision-Making Use of data to drive equity-based instructional decision-making refers to teachers, administrators, support staff and family access to and use of data to inform, plan and/or understand student access to learning, student learning (outcomes), supports that are needed for every student’s success, and communication of progress made from those supports.
5. Increase Use of Data for School-Wide, Equity-Based Decision-Making Use of data to drive equity-based decision-making refers to capturing, analyzing, and using a variety of data from school stakeholders to make decisions that meet the identified needs of students, families, and staff. 
6. Collaborative Communication System for Equity-Access and Preparation for College between Families and All Members of the School Staff  A collaborative communication system refers to meaningful and regular communication with all students, staff and families to support improved relationships and knowledge and engagement in college preparations, student academic success and college readiness.
7. Increase Feeder School Collaboration and Communication Feeder school collaboration and communication refers to teachers sharing effective practices, school leadership teams supporting effective student transitions between schools, understanding of equity-based student course placement, understanding of student course/grade readiness and progression, and family understanding of  the feeder school transition expectations and process.
8. A Commitment to a College-Going Culture A college-going culture encompasses ideas of leadership through an equity lens, strategic implementation of a school vision that promotes equity for all students, dissemination of college information and resources, a school atmosphere that promotes the benefits of postsecondary endeavors and a college-going mindset for all school stakeholders including students, families, staff and administrators.
9. Increase Community Partnerships Community partnerships with GEAR UP schools will support efforts to encourage families to engage actively in preparing students for college.
10. Increase in CAASPP Scores, in Graduation Rates and in Students Going to College (WestEd monitoring)