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Our Work

GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) is a federal program funded by the U.S. Department of Education. Its purpose is to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in post-secondary education.
The New Hampshire GEAR UP Alliance is administered through a partnership between the New Hampshire College & University Council and Campus Compact for New Hampshire. It is a collaboration of grants comprising the GEAR UP New Hampshire and GEAR UP Manchester grants.
GEAR UP is student success.
—Teacher

Through these initiatives, the New Hampshire GEAR UP Alliance serves more than 3,000 students in eight school districts across the state. We partner with a broad coalition of education stakeholders to bolster a college-going culture in schools while helping students plan for their futures:

  • National Council for Community and Education Partnerships
  • The U.S. Department of Education
  • K–12 schools, school districts, teachers, and administrators
  • College and university professionals
  • State legislators
  • Business partners and sponsors
  • GEAR UP grant programs across the country
Black chalkboard with white chalk reading "success - go get it"

Our resources are designed to help students explore the three E’s of what comes after high school: education, employment, or enlistment.

Expanding College Access

The New Hampshire GEAR UP Alliance provides training, support, and resources for middle and high school students from under-resourced areas.

We engage schools, districts, community organizations, and volunteers to help students advance through school to college and careers.

The New Hampshire GEAR UP Alliance works to:

  • Provide opportunities for underrepresented students to develop skills that are critical for accessing college.
  • Design an academic model that aligns K–12 with college course content to increase college enrollment and preparedness.
  • Build an academic bridge between high schools, colleges, and businesses to prepare students for success in school and the workforce.
  • Create a college-going culture that lets every student embrace the idea that college is possible.
  • Develop and sustain a commitment from businesses, high schools, colleges, and parents to make New Hampshire students college ready.
  • Provide scholarships and support in accessing financial aid to help students and families from underserved areas pay for college.

This work serves two objectives: 1) Increase opportunities for New Hampshire’s underrepresented students to access college, and 2) Create pathways for these students to stay in school and ease transitions to post-secondary education.

Building Skills for Success

The New Hampshire GEAR UP Alliance provides training and support in school and through summer, evening, and other programs. The guiding framework for these programs includes both academic and non-academic skill building:

Academic Rigor

Offering a rigorous curriculum with the appropriate mix of content areas, critical thinking, and writing skills.

College Matching

Counseling students to research and apply to schools that are a good match for them academically, socially, and financially.

Social Skills

Supporting students in developing critical social and emotional skills to allow them to persist in the face of obstacles.

Financial Aid

Providing students and families with tools to be active participants in finding financial aid and scholarship resources.

Helping Students Prepare for College & Careers

We provide a wide range of services for students in our GEAR UP programs. Program staff work with school coordinators, AmeriCorps VISTAs, and business and nonprofit partners to meet students’ needs.

Key areas of focus include:

  • Academic support: Bootcamps, tutoring, homework help, promotion of New Hampshire Scholars academic standards, advisory lessons, GEAR UP for Success and other summer programs.
  • College preparation: One-on-one advising, financial aid support, scholarship promotion, campus tours and panels, college checklists and other resources.
  • Career preparation: Career exploration and planning, academic preparation, exploration of career and technical education (CTE) and military service pathways.
  • 21st century skill building: Leadership development, organizational skills, Student Leadership Board, internships, expanded learning opportunities, educational field trips.
  • Social/emotional development: Mentoring, creating a sense of belonging, cultivating a college-going culture, fostering cooperation, providing a safe space for all students.

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