About Us


GEAR UP West is an annual, collaborative regional conference for college access and success practitioners primarily from the Western part of the United States. Participating states have included Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. GEAR UP programs in these states together serve more than 200,000 historically underrepresented students and their families.

All those working to help underrepresented students prepare for and succeed in postsecondary education are welcome to attend. Attendees include:

  • GEAR UP & other college access program staff
  • Program evaluators
  • Higher education professionals
  • Middle & high school teachers
  • School counselors
  • School administrators

Breakout sessions at this year’s event will illustrate and examine best practices, especially those reflecting on and drawing from the conference theme - Onward and Upward. Sessions will include topics related to:

  • Metacognitive factors in student achievement
  • College completion
  • implementing Common Core State Standards
  • Family engagement
  • Resources for undocumented and minority students
  • Working in rural schools
  • Transitions: middle school to high school and high school to college