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GEAR UP, an education success story


Last updated 6/17/2017 at Noon

Assemblymember Marie Waldron

AD-75 (R)

As the mother of a high school student, education has always been one of my top concerns. That’s why I’m so encouraged by "GEAR UP" – Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, a program that has helped almost one million low-income students in 48 states, the District of Colombia, and several U.S. territories.

In this region, Palomar College’s GEAR UP program served 6,877 students in six high schools in 2016, including Escondido, and San Marcos. The program is now expanding to middle schools in Valley Center, Fallbrook and Vista.

GEAR UP is a U.S. Department of Education grant program, in collaboration with business partners, which helps fund education. The overall goal is to create “college-going, college readiness” cultures in schools and communities served, by working with teachers, counselors, local higher education institutions, their leaders, and parents.

GEAR UP improves academic performance, increases graduation rates, and prepares participating students to transition from middle school to high school and ultimately to college, with a special focus on at-risk, low–income, first-generation students.

The program also provides a network of support for adults – counselors, faculty, school leaders and families, all of whom have a tremendous impact on students. GEAR UP encourages students to master rigorous academic standards leading to success in high school and beyond.

As a result, 55 percent of local GEAR UP students ultimately become first-generation college students and 84 percent passed their AP courses in 2015-16. Thousands of local students have benefited from GEAR UP - a great program.


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