|Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP)
About GEAR UP
In collaboration with schools and districts in Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties, we are implementing three GEAR UP partnership programs to build college-bound communities through academic preparation and increased awareness about college-going pathways. Funded by six-year grants from the U.S. Department of Education, GEAR UP is designed to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. Our GEAR UP partnerships supplement existing school reform efforts and build capacity to sustain projects beyond the term of the grant. Since 2000, the Educational Partnership Center has been awarded more than $24 million in GEAR UP grants to support our college-going mission.
The GEAR UP partnerships are data-driven—we use research-proven practices to promote academic rigor and student achievement. Each of our partner school districts has the opportunity to work with the Educational Partnership Center to shape a program that meets their specific needs. Ongoing data review allows us to conduct program evaluation and helps teachers to modify instruction and identify students in need of additional assistance.
The students, families, and schools we serve through our GEAR UP partnerships also receive services through the Early Academic Outreach Program (EAOP). The Educational Partnership Center’s unique service delivery model provides integrated, school-wide academic preparation and outreach to create synergies across programs and leverage resources and expertise. EAOP gives students the extra academic edge they need to successfully graduate from high school and pursue postsecondary education options through course planning; test preparation; information dissemination about college admission requirements; and motivation through campus tours, field trips, and summer and weekend programs.
The GEAR UP partnership programs bring much-needed resources into the largely rural, agricultural communities we serve. Our primary goals are:
- Increase student academic performance and preparation for college
- Increase student and family college awareness
- Increase teachers’ capacity to prepare students for college
- Create a college-bound community that supports retention through high school graduation and college enrollment