Program Areas | College and Career Access and Success

Oregon State University: Evaluation of the Oregon GEAR UP Statewide Grant

In 2014, Oregon GEAR UP was awarded its third Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) federal grant. Oregon GEAR UP seeks to increase the number of low-income rural students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary programs by supporting schools in their efforts to set high academic expectations, promote early awareness of college opportunities, and engage students in college and career planning. Metis’s evaluation is helping project staff and schools assess program implementation and variations; document overarching successes, challenges, and lessons learned; measure the initiative’s progress in meeting project-specific and school-specific objectives and federal performance measures; and assess the impact of the project through a rigorous quasi-experimental design. More recently, Oregon GEAR UP retained Metis to conduct a Life after High School study with one of their graduating cohorts. The study provided valuable information on what motivates students to pursue or not pursue a college education, their successes, and struggles in their first year after graduation, their perceptions around the helpfulness of the various supports they received while in high school, and suggestions on what schools could do to prepare them for success better. Metis will continue to conduct this study with the new cohorts of graduating GEAR UP students.