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.

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. 

Affiliate Program Purpose

Seeing the success of our schools has inspired us to share the GEAR UP model in hopes of furthering our mission.  Though grant funds are limited, the Affiliate Program is a way to bring GEAR UP to your school(s) with the goal of developing and sustaining a college-going culture. By providing resources and support to Affiliate schools, our goal is two-fold:

  1. Serve more low-income, rural schools throughout Oregon as they prepare students for their post-secondary career and college goals.
  2. Learn more about the Oregon GEAR UP model as a best practice for increasing high school graduation and college enrollment rates.

Program Details

With a focus on sustainability, the GEAR UP Affiliate Program provides a foundation for learning the GEAR UP model, accessing program resources, and developing a school-specific plan based on data. During the first two years, you will receive coaching, time for planning and specific GEAR UP services.  Following this time, you will still have access to program resources with a goal of school-wide sustainability.

  • Year 1 focuses on data collection, self-assessment, and developing a plan. Questions to consider:
    • Where are we now?
    • What are our long-term goals?
    • Based on our data, what are our strengths? What are our priority areas/areas of needed growth?
  • Year 2 focuses on implementation and reflection. After putting the plan in place:
    • What improvements have we made?
    • Based on our data, what are our successes?  What are new priority areas/areas of needed growth?
    • How can we grow our current plan to accommodate our needs?
  • Year 3 focuses on ownership and sustainability.  Now that we know the process, have a plan in place, and have the data necessary to make changes:
    • How can we continue to best serve our students, parents, and community?


Requirements for Participation
Benefits of Participation
  • Completing an inventory of current college and career readiness activities (CCRI)
  • Administering educator and student surveys to collect data for research-based model program implementation
  • Completing an annual survey to document school-wide success and provide valuable data for program improvement
  • Adopting the GEAR UP Roadmap as a tool for implementing college and career readiness activities. The Roadmap provides a general outline for school improvement that can be adapted to your school’s specific needs.
  • Documenting the coordinator’s time; however, documentation of all staff participation will provide cost-share for the grant and assist our ability to offer the Affiliate program in the future.
  • GEAR UP Professional Development opportunities including two in-person meetings for personalized support.
  • Direct access to Affiliate Liaison for school-specific plan questions.
  • Complete access to GEAR UP’s Roadmap and planning resources.
  • 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               *required
Prep, Build GEAR UP Team Summer/Fall
Kickoff Meeting, hosted by Oregon GEAR UP September
*Inventory Activities: College & Career Readiness Inventory (CCRI) By October 1
Create A Plan for All Grades November-December
*Conduct Surveys: Online for Students & Educators (parent survey optional) October-January
Mid-Year Check In with liaison to evaluate progress January
Planning Meeting, hosted by Oregon GEAR UP
Review Data, Compose A Yearly Plan
*Evaluate: Year End-Survey By June 30
Review Yearly Plan & Implementation Notes August/September
Implement Yearly Plan September-June
Kickoff Meeting, hosted by Oregon GEAR UP September
*Update CCRI By November 1
Update Plan for All Grades November-December
*Conduct Surveys: Online for Students & Educators (parent survey optional) October-January
Mid-Year Check In with liaison to evaluate progress January
Planning Meeting, hosted by Oregon GEAR UP
Review Data, Compose A Yearly Plan
*Evaluate: Year End-Survey  By June 30
 Sustain GEAR UP model  Moving forward


Bring GEAR UP to your school! Because the mission of GEAR UP includes direct service to low-income students in rural communities, our Affiliate program is designed specifically with these schools in mind; however, all Oregon schools are welcome to apply. If you are not a rural, low-income serving school, you can still have access to our Roadmap that includes our research-based model and planning materials; however, you will not have access to professional development opportunities and only minimal access to our program liaisons for individualized support. Because time and resources are limited, only 10 new schools will be accepted to the Affiliate program each year with applications opening in February for the following school year.


Applications for the following school year will be processed on a first come, first serve basis until spots have filled.

  • Application opens: February 1
  • Priority deadline to receive GEAR UP pens, pencils, bags: June 1
  • Final deadline: September 1


Questions? Contact Maddy Anderson, GEAR UP Affiliate Liaison,, 541-207-5336