GEAR UP is Marching to a Million

admin | Monday, July 25, 2016

Career & College Clubs joined thousands of other college access champions for the annual NCCEP / GEAR UP conference.

This year’s theme, “The March to a Million,” expressed the dedication educators, leaders, and change agents to expanding college and career opportunities for greater numbers of students nationwide. GEAR UP currently serves approximately 570,000 students, but stakeholders have their sights set on even greater social impact and a greater role in the future of education reform.

Staff from Career & College Clubs had myriad conversations with GEAR UP programs about their efforts, and several collaborations are beginning to form.

Marcia Cole (DCPS), Kelly Pappas (CCC), Carina Soto (CCC), Clarence Monsanto (DCPS), Bear Johnson (DCPS)

Peer-to-peer learning in the middle grades was also the focus of a conference session. Together with educators from the DC Public Schools, Career & College Clubs presented strategies for boosting college readiness in the middle grades using peer mentors.


GEAR UP is a federal discretionary grant program designed to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. GEAR UP provides six-year grants to states and partnerships to provide services at high-poverty middle and high schools. GEAR UP grantees serve an entire cohort of students beginning no later than the seventh grade and follow the cohort through high school. GEAR UP funds are also used to provide college scholarships to low-income students.

GEAR UP offers state and partnership grants. State grants are competitive six-year matching grants that must include both an early intervention component designed to increase college attendance and success and raise the expectations of low-income students and a scholarship component. Partnership grants are competitive six-year matching grants that must support an early intervention component and may support a scholarship component designed to increase college attendance and success and raise the expectations of low-income students.


The National Council for Community and Education Partnerships (NCCEP) is a national non-profit, non-partisan organization working to increase access to higher education for economically disadvantaged students.  Confident that education paves the way to social equity, NCCEP advances college access through advocacy, training, and research.

To fulfill this mission, NCCEP establishes community-education partnerships, strengthens research-based college access programs, promotes sound federal public policy and develops tools and resources to provide educational opportunities for all students.

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