Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR-UP)

GEAR-UP is a five-year federal grant program. The overall purpose of the GEAR-UP Program is twofold. First, GEAR-UP is fully committed to helping students in designated middle and high schools in the Memphis City Schools district enroll and successfully complete high-level rigorous courses, such as Algebra I, in preparation for post-secondary education. Secondly, Southwest also provides each GEAR-UP student with access to summer enrichment camps and a College Coach Mentor to support and guide them through their middle and high school years. GEAR-UP also provides a number of resources to parents of GEAR-UP students, such as admissions and financial aid informational workshops, to assist parents better prepare their child for college.

Through a collaborative partnership between Memphis City Schools, Southwest Tennessee Community College, LeMoyne-Owen College, and the University of Memphis, GEAR-UP will impact an entire 7th grade cohort in nine middle and high schools. The schools are:

The majority of the student population in the nine targeted schools is significantly below national norms in reading and math, live at the poverty level, frequently over-aged, and have parents with limited education. Therefore, GEAR-UP students will be the first in their families to attend college.

As a higher education partner, Southwest Tennessee Community College provides the following services to GEAR-UP students and parents: