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Oregon GEAR UP

Oregon GEARUP: Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs

College. It’s not a dream. It’s a plan.Oregon GEAR UP logo

That’s the motto of Oregon GEAR UP, and it guides the program’s work with middle and high schools around the state. Go to Oregon GEAR UP's official website, gearup.ous.edu for more on opportunities, grant activities and participating schools.

This is the OUS department page for Oregon GEAR UP, a program supporting schools in their efforts to set high academic expectations, promote early awareness of college opportunities, and engage students in college and career planning. The program’s goal is to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary programs, and program leaders work with school districts, colleges and universities, and a variety of partner organizations across Oregon to realize that goal.

Oregon GEAR UP began in 2002 with a six-year grant from the United States Department of Educa­tion. A second federal grant in 2008 will fund activities through 2014, with The Ford Family Foundation providing support for additional schools from 2011-2017. All low-income serving school districts in Oregon qualify for membership in the GEAR UP family and are encouraged to join its statewide college readiness effort.

Activities are concentrated in 12 Oregon school districts receiving GEAR UP funding during the 2008-2014 grant cycle, with an additional 10 school districts in the 2011-2017 cohort. Grants of $30,000 to $40,000 are awarded annually to each district. Alongside the grants, GEAR UP pro­vides the districts with technical assistance and coordinates a variety of statewide activities that support the development of successful school-based college readiness initiatives.

Middle and high school staff in these districts design and carry out most of the program’s activities. Partner organizations provide curriculum sup­port, mentorship programs and professional development opportunities to the schools, as well as college campus-based events that expose students to college life.