GEAR UP Connecticut Alliance is a program funded by the US Department of Education with the goal of increasing the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. To accomplish this goal, USDOE provides states with six-to-seven year Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) grants that provide support services to high poverty middle and high schools. The program follows 6th or 7th grade students through high school graduation.
In 2012, Connecticut received a seven year, $31.5 million GEAR UP grant, partnering CSCU institutions with local school districts to implement the project. These local Alliances include Manchester Community College with East Hartford Public Schools; Naugatuck Valley Community College with Waterbury Public Schools; and Southern Connecticut State University with New Haven Public Schools. Through these local alliances, students from high need areas of Connecticut will early college awareness and support activities like tutoring, mentoring, academic preparation, financial education and college scholarships to improve access to higher education for low income, minority and disadvantaged first-generation students and their families
The Connecticut Alliance began serving both 6th and 7th graders at the target middle schools in Waterbury and 7th graders only at the target middle schools in East Hartford and New Haven. The program will also provide professional development to teachers in the schools and college awareness and financing seminars to parents.
GEAR UP Waterbury
GEAR UP New Haven
GEAR UP East Hartford