Program Areas | College and Career Access and Success

School District of Philadelphia: Evaluation of the Philadelphia GEAR UP Partnership

Metis has evaluated two federally-funded GEAR UP programs for the School District of Philadelphia since 2009. Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) grants are designed to prepare low-income students for postsecondary education. The evaluation of the first seven-year grant in Philadelphia was a rigorous quasi-experimental design study that demonstrated that GEAR UP had a significant impact on high school graduation and college enrollment outcomes for regularly attending students who participated in the program for two years (to learn more about these results, please see the Metis final report). In 2014 Metis assisted the school district in securing their second GEAR UP grant to implement the College Readiness Collaborative Communities (CRCC) project in some of Philadelphia’s highest poverty and at-risk schools. The Metis evaluations for both awards involved formative and summative components. Also, Metis developed and maintains a Web-enabled database to collect and preserve a record of parent and student participation in GEAR UP activities to examine the relationship between achievement and involvement in project activities. Through a menu of user-friendly reports, project staff and partners monitor overall programming and at the student, activity, school, and partner levels. Metis also provides technical assistance to the project team and partners on collecting, analyzing, and reporting data. Dosage analyses have shown that GEAR UP participation is positively associated with attendance, achievement, and behavioral outcomes.