What is GEAR UP CT?

The Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) initiative is one of the largest and most effective programs focused on increasing the college and career readiness of low-income students in communities nationwide. GEAR UP is a highly competitive grant program that helps empower local partnerships comprised of K-12 schools, institutions of higher education, state agencies, and community organizations to achieve three strategic goals.


These goals are:

  1. Increase postsecondary expectations and readiness of students.
  2. Improve high school graduation and postsecondary enrollment rates.
  3. Increase student and family knowledge of postsecondary options, preparation, and financial aid.

Services include but not limited to:

  • Tutoring / Mentoring
  • College Awareness / Virtual Tours
  • Testing Preparation
  • Summer Programming
  • Career Planning / Workshops
  • College Planning
  • Financial Aid Workshops

GEAR UP builds capacity within communities to ensure that underserved students have the opportunity, skills, and knowledge to successfully pursue the education and training that will enable them to achieve their career and life goals. Our committed GEAR UP teams along with partner colleges and school districts will work towards a future where all students are empowered and equipped with the education and training needed to succeed in a diverse and global society.

  • diplomaFREE college and career readiness at your school for students AND parents
  • books

    Helps you start thinking about and preparing for college or post high school plans NOW

  • school

    Supports you all the way through high school and into your first year of college!

Why Should You Participate in GEAR UP?

  • GEAR UP participants have higher high school graduation and college enrollment rates
  • College-going culture
  • The earlier you start, the better!

Learn more:

Contact Us:

To speak with someone about the MxCC-Meriden Public Schools GEAR UP partnership, please email kkoplowitz@mxcc.edu

GEAR UP is a collaboration with:

Meriden Public Schools logo

US Department of Education

The CT State Colleges & Universities (CSCU) has been awarded a $25.8 million Gaining Early Awareness & Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) grant by the United States Department of Education (USDOE). CSCU has partnered with Middlesex Community College (MxCC), which will work in partnership with Meriden Public Schools to provide grant services.

Celebrating school success

Upcoming Events

COMING UP: GEAR UP Summer Program Registration

This August, GEAR UP will be offering a week-long summer program for students that will focus on transitioning to ninth grade and building skills for high school and beyond. Look out for registration information later this month.


Kaara Koplowitz


Kaara Koplowitz

Gear Up Program Coordinator
Office Location: Platt High School
Phone: 860-343-5821
Email: kkoplowitz@mxcc.edu

Kaleigh Scott
Kaleigh Scott

Site Coordinator at Maloney High School
Email: kaleigh.scott@meridenk12.org
Website: meridenk12.org

Molly Westfall


Molly Westfall

Site Coordinator at Platt High School
Email: molly.westfall@meridenk12.org
Website: meridenk12.org