GEAR UP North Carolina
The Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) project is a national college access initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Education. In order to participate in GEAR UP, a school must have a student body comprised of at least 50% free and reduced price lunch enrollment. The federal goal of GEAR UP is to significantly increase the number of students in disadvantaged communities who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. GEAR UP has three program objectives:
- To increase the academic performance and preparation for postsecondary education of participating students;
- To increase the rate of high school graduation and participation in postsecondary education of participating students; and
- To increase educational expectations for participating students and increase student and family knowledge of postsecondary education options, preparation, and financing.
The University of North Carolina System was awarded a seven-year grant in 2019 for GEAR UP NC to provide college access and readiness services. The grant provides support to schools, students, and families to achieve the project’s goal and objectives. GEAR UP NC directly engages students in partner schools starting in the 6th grade, providing these students with academic readiness and college access support over the course of their middle and high school careers. GEAR UP NC also works with the National College Advising Corps to engage 12th grade students in partner high schools with college application and financial aid application support.
GEAR UP NC partners with the College Foundation of North Carolina for statewide dissemination of college information. GEAR UP NC is included in the University of North Carolina System Higher Expectations Strategic Plan as a strategy for promoting and improving access to higher education in North Carolina.
GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
Goals, Objectives, and Performance Measures
GEAR UP NC’s goal is to significantly increase the number of students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. The national goals and project objectives that drive the GEAR UP North Carolina project are as follows:
- Increase academic performance and preparation for postsecondary education.
- Increase the percentage of students taking and successfully completing the following courses: Pre-Algebra by the end of 8th grade, Algebra I by the end of 9th grade, and two years of math beyond Algebra I by the end of 12th grade. Increase the percentage of students who have knowledge of and demonstrate academic preparation for college and who enroll in college without the need for remedial coursework.
- Increase the rate of high school graduation and participation in postsecondary education.
- Decrease the high school dropout rate. Increase the high school graduation rate; the average daily attendance rates at middle schools and high schools; and the percentage of students who apply, enroll, and succeed in college, along with the percentage of students who are on track to graduate from college.
- Increase GEAR UP students’ and their families’ knowledge of postsecondary education options, preparation, and financing.
- Increase students’ and families’ knowledge of and active engagement in the preparation of students for postsecondary education.
GEAR UP NC provides data-driven college access services, based on need, to students, their families, and educators in target schools. These services are tied directly to GEAR UP NC’s goals and objectives. Services include:
- Carnegie Learning Math Program
- Academic Enrichment Opportunities, particularly in the area of STEM
- College Advising
- Virtual College Tours
- First-Year Coaching
- Professional Development
GEAR UP North Carolina partners with the following agencies as part of 2019-26 grant match:
- College Foundation of North Carolina (CFNC)
- NC Community College System
- NC State Education Assistance Authority
GEAR UP NC State Office Contact Information
Follow us on Twitter @GEARUPNC, Instagram @GEARUPNC and on Facebook @GEAR UP North Carolina. Visit our website at GEARUPNC.org to find out more about us and the work we do!