CCT has been asked by the Passaic Public Schools to assume the evaluation responsibilities for its Gear Up grant. GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) is a program funded by the US Department of Education to give all 8th grade students the skills, encouragement, and preparation needed to pursue post-secondary education. The program includes teacher professional development in Math, Language Arts, and Technology Integration, help with school work, week-long summer and day-trips to area universities, as well as career and college financial planning information. CCT researchers will use a dual method evaluation strategy combining qualitative and quantitative approaches to examining the program impact. CCT will create a longitudinal database for the Gear Up Cohort with student participation data, test data and relevant course and demographic data. Additionally for comparison, EDC will build a comparison group database of students in the previous graduating class (class of 2010) from 7th grade to 12th grade that contains test data and relevant course and demographic data. The qualitative component of the evaluation will examine how the Gear Up program is supporting the educators in the schools and students' experience of the program. CCT will conduct interviews with administrators, counselors and classroom teachers to gather their impressions on the success of the Gear Up program so far and to hear what issues and challenges frontline educators. EDC will also convene focus groups with students to collect their impressions of the program.