Student Leadership Event

We focus our efforts on 38 schools in 21 rural communities. We also serve schools and students through our Affiliate program and our statewide initiatives.


Graduation caps at Cottage Grove High School

We help build high expectations among students, parents and staff in order to create a college-going culture in schools.

GEAR UP has provided invaluable information and inspiration for our rural students, many of whom would otherwise struggle to find a path to college. {Educator}

College visit at OIT

After a college campus visit, students are more likely to think they will go to college and can picture themselves as a college student.

Living and eating on campus creates a belief that my kids belong there. They see it, they experience it, they feel it. [College] becomes that much more of a reality. {Educator}


College-level classes at Taft

Our schools are increasing rigor by offering more AP, IB, dual credit and other college-level classes.

Students are starting to think, ‘What more can I do?’ rather than just [trying to meet] the requirements at the baseline. {Educator}

GEAR UP educators with sign

We provide opportunities for educators to expand their teaching skills, as well as learn from local, regional and national professionals at conferences and workshops.

[The GEAR UP Summer Institute] was one of the best trainings I've ever been to. {Educator}


Future engineers and nurses at Chiloquin

Our schools help students explore and prepare for careers in a variety of ways including meeting with professionals, creating career pathway programs, hosting and attending career fairs, and sponsoring career-focused clubs.

[The Career Fair] was probably one of the best ways to learn about both college and jobs. I got to go to the things I wanted to learn about, there were many different jobs, and you got to ask specific questions. {Student}


Welcoming parents to school in Dayton

Parents are the primary influence for students’ decisions after high school; therefore, our schools engage and inform parents about college and career options.

I love that [college] is just common conversation at this school. I love that it's in announcements. There's conversations, you hear kids talking about it. {Parent}

GEAR UP educators holding signs

Our educators are dedicated to student success.

We have a lot of people invested in the kids, in wanting to help. Which I think is such an asset to us, and to this program, that it's not just one person doing everything. {Educator}


Smiling students with college acceptances at Umatilla

Seniors at more than 100 high schools around the state submitted over 5,100 applications. College Application Week is part of our broader statewide initiative, Oregon Goes To College.  

Applying to college is actually really easy if you take the time to do it during College Application Week without distractions and with people who can help. {Student}

Open laptop

We piloted a virtual admissions visit program to increase access for our rural schools.

Just having the opportunity for face-to-face (even over the screen) has opened doors for our students — we know it's hard for all colleges to get to our school. {Educator}

La Pine alum and educators

Our graduates provide encouragement to younger students and feedback to educators.

GEAR UP helped me to see that college wasn’t as far away as it felt, and that I had a community supporting me throughout the entire process. {Graduate}