GEAR UP Program

Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs


The mission of the St. John’s University GEAR UP program is to serve as a vehicle that will enable academically and/or economically disadvantaged students to graduate middle and high school and pursue post secondary education. Through a broad range of academic and social support services, we will provide our students with a solid academic background that will enable them to succeed and become lifelong learners and productive citizens of society.


  • Provide information to students and parents about college options, required courses and financial aid
  • Help ensure that all students have access to rigorous courses that prepare them for college
  • Develop a solid academic foundation for college
  • Promote strategies and activities for increased parent involvement
  • Provide support to students through mentoring, counseling and tutoring
  • Provide ongoing teacher training and professional development
  • Establish meaningful partnerships within the community

Contact Us

St. John's University
St. John Hall, B-13
8000 Utopia Parkway
Queens, NY 11439
Phone: 718-990-2531
Fax: 718-990-2383
[email protected]

Additional Information

  • Out-of-State Overnight College Tours
  • College for a Day
  • Field Trips
  • Tutoring in Math, Science, Social Studies and English
  • Computer Workshops
  • Online Mentoring
  • SAT/PSAT Preparation
  • STEM Inititatives
  • Scholarship Search
  • Fundraisers
  • Essay/Project Writing Workshops
  • Academic and Social Counseling
  • Residential Summer Camps
  • Summer Youth Employment
  • GEAR UP Clubs
  • Internships
  • College Admissions and Financial Aid Assistance

St. John’s University received one of 30 federal partnership GEAR UP grants in September 2014. The program is designed to increase high school graduation and college enrollment rate in high povery communities while providing a plethora of academic, social, and community support. Services will be offered over the next seven years. Our target population consists of 650-7th graders attending the Joseph Pulitzer Junior High School (IS 145), in Jackson Heights, NY. Using a cohort approach, the students enrolled in the program during years one and two will be tracked throughout high school and into college. During years three through six of the program, SJU will provide services to GEAR UP scholars attending William Cullen Bryant High School (primary high school) and other local high schools. St. John’s University’s GEAR UP provides each school with mentors, in addition to establishing an after school program. Students are exposed to college events and activities through field trips to St. John’s University.

Program Goals

Goal 1—Improve the number of students obtaining a secondary diploma and enrolling in postsecondary education 

Goal 2—Promote student and family understanding of financial literacy as well as academic requirements for college

Goal 3—Increase student enrollment in rigorous and challenging curricula and coursework to decrease the need for remediation at the postsecondary level

Goal 4—Enhance teacher quality through professional development on common core state standards

Goal 5—Enhance the use of data to improve instructional practice, student outcomes, and program implementation

Goal 6—Foster the replication and sustainability of GEAR UP intervention strategies for after federal funding has ceased

University Goals

  • Improve students’ personal achievement goals
  • Increase attendance
  • Advance student knowledge about careers through a career counselor
  • Provide help in passing Regents Exams
  • Improve students’ SAT scores
  • Furnish help in completing college applications and financial aid forms
  • Supply e-mentors from college students and post-college volunteers in fields that match students’ career interests
  • Provide professional development in various fields including technology, learning standards and the college admissions process
  • Enroll at least 75% of the GEAR UP scholars in a two-year or four-year undergraduate program in 2021

Alexandra Marquez, M.S.Ed.
[email protected]

Partner High Schools
Long Island City High School
1430 Broadway
Long Island City, NY 11106

William Cullen Bryant High School
48-10 31st Avenue
Long Island City, NY 11103