GEAR UP students with green bags


GEAR UP is Oregon’s statewide college readiness program that supports low-income middle and high school schools to help students prepare for and succeed in education after high school. GEAR UP, which stands for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, is administered by Oregon State University with federal funds as well as support from community partners such as The Ford Family Foundation.

In addition to collaborating with specific rural schools to help create a college-going culture that produces students who are college and career ready, we also sponsor statewide events (College Application Week, College Cash Campaign, Decision Day), offer innovative toolkits and publications, and provide guidance to all schools seeking to increase their college-going rates. GEAR UP relies upon research-based principles to inform our systemic school-wide improvement model that is easily adapted to local needs. 

GEAR UP Affiliate Program 2017-18

Bring GEAR UP to your school! We will be conducting research during the 2017-18 school year to see if we can scale our model of school culture change to serve more schools. Oregon schools are invited to join GEAR UP as affiliate sites, who will implement the GEAR UP model and resources to develop and maintain a college-going culture in their communities. In exchange for additional support and structure from Oregon GEAR UP, affiliate schools will provide data in the form of administrator questionnaires (one pre- and one post-intervention) and student & educator surveys.

Our goal is to learn more about the Oregon GEAR UP model as a best practice for increasing high school graduation and college enrollment rates. We will take this information and revise the model as needed and potentially share with schools across the state.

Program Details

Requirements for Participation
Benefits of Participation
  • Adopt the GEAR UP Roadmap as a tool for implementing college and career readiness activities,
  • Administer surveys to all school staff as well as students in grades for which the roadmap will be implemented.
  • Provide data & participate in evaluation. At a minimum this data will include:
    • An inventory of current college and career readiness activities;
    • Pre- and post-involvement questionnaires; and
    • Documentation of staff participation
  • Complete access to GEAR UP’s theory of change through the roadmap.
  • Use of online system to administer student, educator and parent surveys and resulting reports.
  • Access to data regarding college and career readiness including college enrollment and persistence.
  • Incentives for student and parent participation as well as college-going culture themed resources.
  • Connection to larger learning community.
  • Priority access to funds for college visits and field trips.
  • Participation in professional development and student events, as space allows.
  • Contribution to larger body of knowledge regarding what works in preparing students for college and career.
Implementation Steps
Schools complete initial application to participate by July 1, 2017
Build a GEAR UP team, collect and review data, draft goals and plan by September 1, 2017
Begin implementing GEAR UP plan September 1, 2017
Administer online surveys to students and educators October 1 - December 31, 2017
Modify plan as needed and submit mid-year check in by January 31, 2018
Submit final paperwork by June 30, 2018

The application is closed.

Questions? Contact Stephanie Carnahan, GEAR UP Director