The Secret to Getting Ahead, is Getting Started


September 20-24, 2021


Average number of students annually


High School


Received College Credits upon graduating




in College

Get Ahead, Get Started

If you are a student, parent, guardian or educator, you can increase college and career readiness with GEAR UP CT, a federally-funded grant program that helps empower local communities to inspire students to think beyond what they see today.
GEAR UP CT provides the tools, resources and programs to help low-income students starting as early as 7th grade in East Hartford, Meriden and Waterbury increase their success in education.

Click Here
to start your journey...


What is GEAR UP CT?

“The Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP)" initiative is one of the largest and most effective programs focused on increasing the college and career readiness of low-income students in communities nationwide. GEAR UP is a highly competitive grant program that helps empower local partnerships comprised of K-12 schools, institutions of higher education, state agencies, and community organizations to achieve three strategic goals.

These goals are:

  1. Increase postsecondary expectations and readiness of students.
  2. Improve high school graduation and postsecondary enrollment rates.
  3. Increase student and family knowledge of postsecondary options, preparation, and financial aid.

Services include but not limited to:

  • Tutoring / Mentoring
  • College Awareness / Virtual Tours
  • Testing Preparation
  • Summer Programming
  • Career Planning / Workshops
  • College Planning
  • Financial Aid Workshops

GEAR UP builds capacity within communities to ensure that underserved students have the opportunity, skills, and knowledge to successfully pursue the education and training that will enable them to achieve their career and life goals. Our committed GEAR UP teams along with partner colleges and school districts will work towards a future where all students are empowered and equipped with the education and training needed to succeed in a diverse and global society.

Click here for additional videos

Get The News

Gear UP CT three towns logo.
GEAR UP Winter 2022 Newsletter

GEAR UP Winter 2022 Newsletter

January 10, 2022
GEAR UP Meriden

GEAR UP Meriden

GEAR UP Meriden students prepare for their final quarter of 2021 for PSATs, tutoring & academic enrichment, one-to-one sessions, LEAP Resource Fair and Platt Club Fair.  A lot of work has been accomplished in meeting with students and their families in 2021 laying the foundation for what is to come in 2022 for GEAR UP Meriden.
January 3, 2022


GEAR UP Waterbury hosted a variety of workshops and presentations during National STEM week in November. This was a great opportunity for students to have hands on experience conducting various experiments throughout the week. Students also participated in group discussions around college and career pathways as related to those experiments.
Photos from the  STEM projects used at Kennedy High School with Flinn fingerprinting kit that teaches students how to identify and classify fingerprints as related to the science of forensics and solving crimes.  Students classified their own fingerprints and were able to solve identification of criminals.  Staff also conducted a presentation of the many different careers in criminal justice and forensics using modern technology.
Kennedy High School's newspaper, the EAGLE FLYER, interviewed and published an article showcasing GEAR UP in their school and including 9th grade student's testimonials regarding their experiences with GEAR UP. Submission attached with three statements from students that was used in the article, these submissions were also shared with the Board of Education during the presentation last month.
GU staff continue to support the cohort of 9th graders with guidance staff to help administering lessons to  support students with goal setting, Naviance support and academic skills.
GEAR UP staff are working with State Street and Enlightenment schools to provide tutoring and supporting students with  SEL /academics/career counseling and goal setting activities.

December 6, 2021
East Hartford GU

East Hartford GU

East Hartford GU has been busy in creating community awareness for students in collaboration with The Dream Support Network and Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.  Community Awareness Day was held at East Hartford High School on November 24th where students learned the importance of serving their communities and to be present in their community.  The East Hartford Alumni Association and Education Foundation joined the event for a panel discussion and professional service opportunities within the community.

GEAR UP EH has been co-leading workshops with CIBA counselors on the topics of SEL and academic skills. These workshops help students identify and cope with stress as well as to effectively manage their time and many academic responsibilities.

GEAR UP EH is providing opportunities for tutoring and enrichment in STEM with after-school algebra sessions and a Girls Who Code Club.

Are you on track? GU EH works with students during “scholar hour” as a way to meet individually with key school support staff and provide support to students based on academic progress reports to stay on track.  GEAR UP coaches counseled dozens of students during the day devoted to Scholar Hour check-ins.

December 3, 2021
CSCU in the news!

CSCU in the news!

Sept. 16, 2021


Click on the link below to view the segment.

WTNH-TV8: ‘GEAR UP’ program prepares students in underserved communities for college
September 16, 2021