Arizona GEAR UP is an innovative college access program that works.
The numbers tell the story: 75% of Gear Up students graduate high school and go onto college Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢?? a number that is more than double the Arizona average.
Created in 1999 through a federal grant, GEAR UP is aimed specifically at students from low-income communities statewide. Because of GEAR UP's track record of success, the grant was renewed in 2012; Arizona GEAR UP is in the second year of the seven-year grant cycle.
Arizona GEAR UP is successful because it is unique. It differs from other college access programs by:
â?¢ Catching the attention of students early in their academic lives, starting in 7th grade.
â?¢ Raising the academic aspiration of an entire group (cohort) of students. Rather than working just with individuals at the disparate locations, we work with an entire grade level at a school. The group learns to dream together, cultivating the motivation, knowledge and skills needed to succeed along the pathway to college.
â?¢ Keeping these groups of children together all the way through high school.
â?¢ Working with parents to alleviate fears and elevate expectations.
â?¢ Enlisting the support of parents, teachers, guidance counselors, school administrators and community groups.