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Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) GEAR UP is designed to increase the number of low-income students who graduate from high school, and prepare for and succeed in postsecondary education.

GEAR UP is currently offered in Watsonville/Pajaro Valley, Monterey Peninsula, and South Monterey County.

GEAR UP Services Include


GEAR UP is Effective!


Serves all students at designated schools in specific grades from as early as sixth grade through students’ first year of college. No application is needed to receive services

Provides school-based, rigorous, academic preparation and support for students and families to help them navigate the college-going pathway

Increases student academic performance and preparation for college, including student and family college awareness

Creates a college-going culture within the broader school community

GEAR UP is a federally funded, discretionary grant program. EPC’s GEAR UP program has been awarded nine multi-year grants since 1999


GEAR UP is in the news! See the full article here!

GEAR UP Works Across CA! Click here to listen to these stories and see how #GEARUPworks and transforms lives in California!

Learn more about GEAR UP

GEAR UP Partner Summit Video

GEAR UP Contact Information

South Monterey County Assistant Director

Felicia Nance


Monterey Peninsula Interim Assistant Director

Alberto Cortes-Perez


Salinas Interim Assistant Director

Alberto Cortes-Perez


Pajaro Valley Assistant Director

Osiris Ortiz


South Zone Direct Services Director

Chris Mutshnick