Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Colorado GEAR UP program design and its effect on student perceptions of postsecondary education
by Mendelsberg, Scott, Ph.D., University of Colorado at Denver, 2012, 193; 3508236
Abstract (Summary)

Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) is a federal program aimed at equalizing access to higher education for low-income students. GEAR UP, created in 1998, attempts to provide information and support about higher education to students beginning no later than the seventh grade while promoting lasting partnerships among school districts, two and four year colleges, career and technical schools, and other entities to operate GEAR UP projects. This study focuses on the Colorado GEAR UP (CGU) program and sets the stage for future evaluation of programmatic design, implementation, and outcomes.

A logic model was created to evaluate the design and implementation of the program, and to establish that program outcomes were as a result of the design and implementation. The logic model is a critical piece to this puzzle. In researching other pre-collegiate programs, it became clear that measurable outcomes were not used and that evaluations consisted mainly of qualitative data and anecdotal accounts. The logic model is used here to help guide the direction of the program with use of specific measurable outcomes and strategies of how to achieve those outcomes. It was a goal of the CGU program evaluation and its effect on student perception of postsecondary education to provide specific strategies to increase college access for low-income students and to show quantitative results.

Quantitative data was collected from participants in 23 middle and high schools in Colorado related to college aspirations, college knowledge, and college course participation. The data reveals that students who participated in CGU from 2006–2011 have higher education aspirations, possess a more thorough understanding of college requirements, and participate in a college course earlier in their high school career than their peers.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Teske, Paul, Hupfeld, Kelly
Commitee: Hupfeld, Kelly, Johnson, Christine, Reichardt, Robert
School: University of Colorado at Denver
Department: Public Affairs
School Location: United States -- Colorado
Source: DAI-A 73/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational evaluation, School counseling
Keywords: Colorado, GEAR UP, Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, Postsecondary
Publication Number: 3508236
ISBN: 978-1-267-33850-1
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