GEAR UP has been touted as "the most promising" federally-funded college outreach program. Our shortfall? We only have the capacity to work intensely with specific schools over the seven years of our grant.

In order to expand our reach, we have been piloting the GEAR UP Affiliate program in order to increase the number of Oregon schools using the GEAR UP model and resources to develop and maintain a college-going culture in their communities.

First, we developed a “roadmap” of the GEAR UP model that includes tools and resources for schools to utilize in advancing their college and career readiness work. Next, we partnered with Willamette Promise and other select schools to recruit ten pilot sites: Gaston Junior/Senior High School, Gervais High School, Hermiston High School, Jefferson High School, Neah-Kah-Nie High School, Perrydale High School, Sprague High School, St. Helens High School, Toledo Junior/Senior High School and Woodburn High School.

After being at a fully funded GEAR UP school [Taft 7-12] for the past 4 years, I knew the support and opportunities provided to me and my students from GEAR UP. Thank you for your continued commitment to every student in Oregon.

Vicky Roller, Counselor, Toledo Junior/Senior High School.

GEAR UP Affiliate schools adopt the college and career readiness roadmap and will be using surveys of educators and students as well as other data including college enrollment reports provided by Oregon GEAR UP to guide this work.

We’re very grateful for the support GEAR UP provides. In every case, the information you’ve provided is pertinent, to the point, and helpful.

MJ Munger, College & Career Readiness Coordinator, St. Helens High School

Another benefit for GEAR UP Affiliate schools is the opportunity to apply for matching funds for college visits for students. Visiting a campus has great impact for students—after a visit to Western Oregon University's Criminal Justice Day with the support of GEAR UP, students at Toledo Junior/Senior High School were more likely to think they would go to and could afford college and knew what it took to get into college.

"The event was very informative," said senior Tim Cross. "It helped me make a final decision where I wanted to go to college. I participated in instant admission to Western Oregon University during College Application Week in the fall, and I was admitted, but I was still unsure. I learned that the criminal justice program at WOU is high recognized, nationwide. I am looking forward to being a Wolf in the fall."