Appalachian GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) provides college-going programming to students and families, academic support in schools, professional development for teachers and administrators, and more in order to improve college access in rural Western North Carolina.

GEAR UP Student Support and Programs

GEAR UP is a federally funded college access program designed to increase the number of students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education immediately after high school. Learn more about the services and programming available to GEAR UP students.

A collection of resources to inform, guide, and empower your local GEAR UP program.

College Visit Programs

The Coordinator's Guide to Successful GEAR UP College Visits for Middle and High School Students and Families provides resources and planning tips to help design and implement an intentional, informative, inspirational, and interactive campus visit.

Academic Innovation Conference 2023
Exploring the Global Impact of Innovation Outside Our Own Walls

On June 12, 2023, ten cohort LEA districts, eleven third-party organizations, and cohort higher education partners sent over one hundred representatives to the Academic Innovation Conference (AIC) 2023 held in Asheville, NC. The ultimate outcome resulted in illuminating western NC's accomplishments of scholars and communities in academics through the lens of global innovative strategies, experiences, and cultures.

Academic Innovation Mini Grants

Academic Innovation Mini (AIM) Grants are designed to support individual and school passion projects aimed at improving academic performance through innovative classroom experiences that engage, inspire, enhance, and motivate student learning.

Education Policy Fellowship Program

The Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP) is a national program that engages a diverse and collaborative community of strategic leaders to promote equitable education policy. Participants from Appalachian GEAR UP districts receive funding to cover the cost of participation.