GEAR UP, a federally-funded pre-college outreach program, strives to provide academic and other supports to middle and high school students and their families to help them prepare for, and pursue, higher education. GEAR UP was established in 1998 by President Clinton through Title IV of the 1998 Amendments to the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA). This paper utilizes a phenomenological frame to explore certain key considerations involved in the initial implementation phases of a GEAR UP grant. Four distinct qualitative phenomenological perspectives from Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) faculty members involved in a current State of Connecticut GEAR UP grant Alliance are shared. Through these four accounts, qualitative, descriptive information about specific systemic, organizational, content, and procedural factors to consider when beginning implementation and planning for a 6-year university-school district partnership like GEAR UP are considered. The insights are not necessarily limited to GEAR UP, however, and may be applicable to other partnership initiatives and/or other large-scale program implementation efforts.
Arafeh, Sousan; Fopiano, Joy; Risisky, Deb; and Haynes, Norris, "Gearing Up to GEAR UP: Four Perspectives on Early Implementation Considerations for GEAR UP" (2012). NERA Conference Proceedings 2012. 21.