GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs)
Description: GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) is a program of the Valley Opportunity Council, Inc., administered in cooperation with Massachusetts Education and Career Opportunities, Inc. (MassEdCo), the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, and funded by the US Department of Education.
Approximately 1,800 students in grades 7-12 are served at six participating sites in Springfield and Holyoke, MA. At each site, GEAR UP Advisors counsel middle and high school students on the importance of higher education while advising them to have high expectations, study hard, stay in school, and take the correct courses that will allow them to enroll in post-secondary education that supports their career goals.
GEAR UP offers a wide range of services including: in or after-school tutoring; college and educational field trips; attendance and retention programs; faculty support/professional development; parent/guardian financial literacy workshops; MCAS, SAT and ACT preparation; assistance with college and financial aid processes; career assessment; 9th-grade transition programs; mentoring programs; and one-on-one advising.
Most GEAR UP students are also eligible for a scholarship.