GEAR UP Program

Gaining Early Awareness And Readiness
For Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP)

Program Overview

Savannah State University Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) serves over 500 students from DeRenne Middle School. GEAR UP is unique from other federal pre-college programs because it requires in-kind commitment from local community partners. GEAR UP’s primary partners include Savannah State University, Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools, Parent University and St. Joseph’s/Candler Hospital, Explore Colleges, State Farm, and the American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE).

Program Goals

  • Increase participant’s academic performance and preparation for postsecondary education.
  • Increase the high school graduation rate and enrollment of participants into a postsecondary institution.
  • Increase participants’ and their families’ knowledge of postsecondary education options, preparation, and financing.


  • Seventh and eighth graders at DeRenne Middle School


  • Personal/Social Counseling
  • Academic Advisement
  • Mentoring
  • Tutoring
  • Study Skills
  • Test-Taking Skills
  • Educational/Career and Cultural Activities
  • College and Technical School Visits
  • Financial Aid Assistance
  • Sensational Saturday Sessions
  • SAT/ACT/GHSGT Test Preparation
  • Assistance with College Applications
  • Professional Development for Teachers
  • Summer Programs
  • Fee Waivers for SAT/ACT and College Application