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ERIC Number: ED500456
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Mar
Pages: 44
Abstractor: ERIC
Using EXPLORE[R] and PLAN[R] Data to Evaluate GEAR UP Programs
ACT, Inc.
The Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Program (GEAR UP) is designed to provide assistance to low income students. The program provides discretionary grants for the purpose of increasing the readiness of low income students to attend and succeed in postsecondary education. The grants are up to six years in length and provide services to a cohort of students who are then followed from middle school through high school. In 2005/2006, ACT and the National Council for Community and Education Partnerships (NCCEP) collaborated to collect data for evaluating student gains in academic achievement, course planning behavior, and commitment to college plans. This report compares changes in academic readiness and college intent for a sample of students from GEAR UP schools to a comparable sample from Non-GEAR UP schools. The researchers utilized assessment data from ACT's EXPLORE[R] and PLAN[R] programs to measure students' academic readiness and college intent at grade 8 and grade 10. Therefore, the degree that GEAR UP affects change between these two grades were able to be measured. Since GEAR UP programs begin no later than grade 7 and continue on past grade 10, only GEAR UP's effect for a portion of the intervention period was measurable. Further, the best indicator of GEAR UP's success will be whether college enrollment and retention rates improve for students from GEAR UP schools. Still, growth between grade 8 and grade 10 is crucial for college preparedness, as many students set their future educational course during this time period. Analyses suggests that the students from GEAR UP schools are slightly better than their Non-GEAR UP counterparts with respect to changes in academic readiness and college intent from grade 8 to grade 10. It was found that students from GEAR UP schools: (1) had slightly greater changes in overall academic performance from grade 8 to grade 10; (2) were slightly more likely to be on track to be college-ready in English and Reading; and (3) were slightly more likely to take the core high school curriculum and have plans for college at grade 10. This study's findings suggest that the GEAR UP program has an effect on changes between grade 8 and grade 10; the study also sheds light on how GEAR UP programs can be properly evaluated. The report also gives specific recommendations to schools and GEAR UP evaluators. (Contains 25 tables and 3 figures.)
ACT, Inc. 500 ACT Drive, P.O. Box 168, Iowa City, IA 52243-0168. Tel: 319-337-1270; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Grade 10; Grade 8; High Schools; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: ACT, Inc., Iowa City, IA.
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A
IES Cited: ED506465