HOME
SEARCH
FAQs
TESTIMONIALS
 
The Impact of GEAR UP on College Readiness for Students in Low Income Schools

Issue/Topic: High School--College Readiness
Author(s): France, Megan; Bausmith, Jennifer
Organization(s): The College Board; Santa Clara University Kenna Hall
Publication: Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk (JESPAR)
Published On: 2012

Background:
The need for young adults to attain postsecondary education to be financially independent continues to increase. As a result, the federal government established the Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Program (GEAR UP) to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education by providing 6-year grants to state and district partnerships, which, in turn, provide services at high-poverty middle- and high-schools.

Purpose:
To evaluate the impact of the Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Program (GEAR UP) on college readiness outcomes.

Findings/Results:
Overall, the GEAR UP program showed positive evidence of improving college readiness outcomes for low income students using a variety of college readiness measures.
  • Overall, schools that implemented the GEAR UP program saw a statistically significant increase in students participation on college readiness assessments
  • Despite increases in the number of students taking college readiness assessments, baselines performance did not decrease. **This suggests that students in these schools were better prepared for college after GEAR UP implementation than were students in earlier years.

Policy Implications/Recommendations:

  • Efforts aimed at increasing the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education can be effectively implemented in the middle and high school grades.
  • When evaluating a program, the first year of implementing a new program can be difficult, so it is best to examine the effects after 2 or more years of implementation.
  • Future research could examine additional outcomes measures both in high school (e.g. GPA and graduation rates) and in postsecondary schools (e.g. college applications, enrollment, persistence, and success).


Full study available at: http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/search/detailmini.jsp?_nfpb=true&_&ERICExtSearch_SearchValue_0=EJ985171&ERICExtSearch_SearchType_0=no&accno=EJ985171


Research Design:
Quasi-Experimental

Population/Participants/Subjects:
173 GEAR UP schools and 173 comparable schools

Year data is from:
2003-2009

Setting:
National

Data Collection and Analysis:
Analysis of seven years of College Board matched cohort data from all regular high schools with grade 12 enrollment. The matched cohort datasets contain participation and performance on college readiness assessments (PSAT/NMSQT, SAT, AP) for each graduating class of high school students throughout their high school experience.

Disclaimer:

Reference in this Web site to any specific commercial products, processes or services, or the use of any trade, firm or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public, and does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Education Commission of the States. Please contact Kathy Christie at 303-299-3613 or kchristie@ecs.org for further information regarding the information posting standards and user policies of the Education Commission of the States.