What's GEAR UP? What can it do for me?

GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) is a federal partnership grant awarded to MiraCosta College to partner with Oceanside Unified School District to increase long term academic success for students. This program was enacted as part of the 1998 Higher Education Act to give more low-income students the skills, encouragement, and preparation to enter and succeed in postsecondary education.

Since 1999, California GEAR UP and the 68 partnership projects have impacted over 1/3 of the 1200 middle schools in California, with the State grant serving over 236,000 students in 260 schools in 106 school districts in 25 counties.

The state model is designed to create a self-sustaining college-going culture by working with whole schools through the adults that have the greatest impact in student life and experience: the principals, teachers, counselors, families and community leaders.

Why start in middle school?


Recent data indicates that California’s educational pipeline – from the time students enter secondary education to when they graduate from college – needs significant repairs. For every 10 students who start high school in California, fewer than two will complete a higher education degree within the expected time.


Data shows that 8th graders perform poorly on the national assessments in math, reading and writing compared to their peers in other states. We also know that a very small percentage of low-income 8th graders perform well on the national assessment in math and science with the percentage dropping over the past nine years, particularly among low-income and minority students. Finally, very small proportions of high school students enroll in upper-level science courses.

Resources for more research:
The benefits of GEAR UP go far beyond the limited number of years that we spend with the students. The far-reaching "ripple" effect will unleash a wave of competent learners on our post-secondary educational system who are armed with all the tools it will take to ensure success. Please take a look at some other informative sites to continue your research:
To sum it all up:
“We believe that ALL students deserve an equitable education – one that provides the knowledge and skills to choose and be successful in postsecondary education pursuits. We also believe that students must master rigorous academic standards and that engagement of school leaders, families and communities is key. ”
Our GEAR UP team (click the red right and left arrows to see more!)