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Six Years of Philadelphia GEAR UP

This summary report draws on multiple years of research about Philadelphia Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) to assess GEAR UP’s progress toward meeting three primary goals: (1) Enhancing Academic Support; (2) Enhancing College Awareness; and (3) Enhancing Family and Community Involvement. It also assesses GEAR UP’s progress toward meeting the program’s objectives and success indicators, as laid out in the GEAR UP Evaluation Plan. Throughout the evaluation of GEAR UP, RFA has used a mixed methods approach (i.e. quantitative and qualtitative data collection and analysis) to provide both formative and summative feedback about the initiative. The evaluation finds that enhancing college awareness was the most fully implemented of the three goals, and its programs and initiatives the most broadly institutionalized. GEAR UP minimally met its goals for enhancing academic support. GEAR UP generated some strong academic support programs but overall student academic outcomes were disapointing. Enhancing family and community involvement proved to be the weakest area of implementation.