Gov. Doug Ducey has declared the week of Sept. 23-29 as Arizona GEAR UP Week.
The proclamation coincides with the celebration of National GEAR UP Week 2018. This week commemorates the continuing success of Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP), a national program intended to help low-income students graduate from high school prepared to succeed in college.
Arizona GEAR UP, now in its third round of federal funding since 2000, has worked with 67 schools in 26 communities throughout the state to help more than 12,000 students and their families prepare, apply and pay for college.
“The work of GEAR UP is a clear example of the commitment of Northern Arizona University to the success of all of Arizona’s young people,” said Ramona Mellott, dean of the College of Education at Northern Arizona University and co-principal investigator for the program.
GEAR UP’s numbers speak to the program’s success, with graduation and postsecondary enrollment rates substantially exceeding those for the state at the close-out of each grant cycle and student cohort served. In 2018, the 88 percent graduation rate for GEAR UP students is 8 percentage points beyond the most-current rate for Arizona and just 2 percentage points below Arizona’s goal of 90 percent by 2030.