The GEAR UP: Ready, Set, College! partnership is a federal grant funded program by the U.S. Department of Education. Funded in September of 2011 in the amount of $6.9 million dollars per year for a total of seven years, Region One ESC GEAR UP serves approximately 10,500 cohort students in 30 high schools at 27 regional school districts arrayed along the U.S.-Mexico border from Laredo to Brownsville, Texas. It consists of a partnership between local public school districts, institutes of higher education, and businesses/organizations that help students and their families toward college and career readiness.
The primary goal of the GEAR UP: Ready, Set, College! partnership is to increase the number of targeted students who enter and succeed in postsecondary environments. This goal is supported by a plan that encompasses academic systemic reform. Services are substantiated by validated research, and are intended to result in a systemic examination, alignment, and implementation of policies, programs, and practices that enable students to succeed in college.
GEAR UP: Ready, Set, College! is organized into five program objectives. These objectives are then supported by delineated activities and initiatives.
- Objective 1: Increase the academic performance and preparation for postsecondary education for GEAR UP students.
Objective 2: Increase the rate of high school graduation and participation in postsecondary education for GEAR UP students through a systemic transformation of continuous improvement.
Objective 3: Increase GEAR UP students’ and their families’ knowledge and awareness of postsecondary education, financing options and preparation.
Objective 4: Increase GEAR UP students' access to advanced academic programs, technology applications and distance learning networks through a STEM initiative.
Objective 5: Increase the leadership capacity of administrators and community stakeholders to sustain a college awareness organizational structure of continuous learning.