GEAR UP schools foster a college-going culture with regularly scheduled college t-shirt days that encourage students to reach higher and involve staff in communicating the expectation of higher education. 

At Ponderosa Middle School and Klamath Union High School in Klamath Falls, all staff and students are encouraged to wear college, GEAR UP or AVID shirts every week. Monthly class competitions keep students engaged (the winners get a college t-shirt!) 7th grade students at Chiloquin Junior/Senior High School will hone their professional letter writing skills by writing to Oregon colleges of their choice requesting a t-shirt to wear during College T-Shirt Wars.

Lowell college t-shirt day

Lowell Pride Buck

Lowell Junior/Senior High School uses their monthly college t-shirt day to build student engagement in other school activities, with participating students getting a "Pride Buck" that is redeemable at the concession stand during school sports games.

"Lowell students create a college going culture by wearing GEAR UP and college t-shirts." Jeanie May, GEAR UP Coordinator

Tie dying t-shirts in Newport

Students who wear college gear (including GEAR UP shirts they tie-dyed themselves) at Newport Middle School are entered into a drawing to win lunch with a teacher to talk about their future college and career plans, building relationships as well as a strong school culture.

Get more ideas on how to develop a college-going culture in your school with our College-Going Culture Toolkit.