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Creative Initiatives, Compromised Interventions: Assessing the Impact of a College Preparatory Program in One Large Urban District

In this handout, we offer an overview of findings from a mixed-method, longitudinal evaluation of one large urban school district’s GEAR UP program. The implementation and delivery of GEAR UP in this district was impeded by numerous contextual and structural barriers. These barriers served to diffuse the program’s impact. In the face of these challenges, GEAR UP was successful at developing students’ college awareness and supporting students during their college search and application process. However, GEAR UP did not achieve its goal of preparing students academically for college. This handout provides brief summaries of findings for the following areas: 1) barriers to the implementation and delivery of the GEAR UP program, 2) college awareness and information, 3) adult support, 4) college preparation and 5) college-going.