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GEAR UP Evaluation Services for GEAR UP Partnerships and State Grants




The Educational Policy Institute (EPI) offers evaluation services to GEAR UP partnership and state projects. EPI has consulted with several GEAR UP programs, including the states of Oklahoma, Missouri, and New York, and is the current evaluator of the New Mexico GEAR UP and the Hampton City Schools (VA) GEAR UP partnership.

Dr. Swail, EPI President, served on the original US Department of Education negotiated rulemaking committee that formed the rules by which GEAR UP states and partnerships must abide. Dr. Swail also conducted a research study of GEAR UP for the National Council of Community and Education Partnerships, the GEAR UP umbrella association and advocate. Joining EPI’s GEAR UP research team is Dr. David Lopez, EPI’s Senior Research Scientist, a statistics expert with a strong research background in K-12 education issues, including education reform and NCLB Accountability.



The EPI Approach


EPI’s approach to GEAR UP program evaluation is both cross-sectional and longitudinal, allowing program stakeholders to assess the overall impact of the program on student outcomes, the incremental impact of specific program activities, and the cumulative impact of program components at key intervals.

EPI examines outcome indicators that relate to GEAR UP performance measures:

1) academic preparation for college,

2) academic performance,

3) high school graduation, and

4) enrollment in postsecondary education.

EPI also works with partnerships and states to identify project-specific indicators, such as student and parent awareness and knowledge of college. Multiple sources of information are used to provide a comprehensive examination of the impact of GEAR UP and its programmatic components on students’ outcomes.

The EPI team will develop survey and data collection instruments, train partnership and state teams to implement these instruments, and then review data to ensure its accuracy. From these data, the EPI team will prepare the reports as requested by the partnership or state. Stakeholders will be responsible for distributing and gathering surveys and school-transcript data. The EPI team will provide the site coordinators with the tools to verify data for accuracy in a systematic manner to ensure that all data are accurate.

EPI will provide a data system to aid the formative and summative reporting required by both the partnership and the US Department of Education necessary to complete the APR process in an efficient, manageable, and appropriate manner.

To support this effort, EPI provides EPI-DAS (Data Analysis System), a data collection and analysis system specifically tailored for GEAR UP programs. This web-based tool allows for easy data entry and access by administrators and other key stakeholders.

The system automatically prepares data for federal reporting (the APR), as required by the U.S. Department of Education, and also allows for further analysis of data for in-depth evaluation. The system can also be utilized for long-term benchmarking, comparative analysis, and/or gap-closing analysis. The EPI system not only collects and prepares data for APR uses, but also helps the GEAR UP grantee assess its implementation and progress toward prior stated goals. In addition, the system will also allow for a counter-factual comparison (i.e., comparison group) to determine the impact of GEAR UP on students. To support this effort, EPI provides online training and helpdesk service for GEAR UP and school-level staff.

Visit the EPI-DAS page for more information about this longitudinal data management system.

Download a brochure on EPI GEAR UP evaluation services.(PDF)


Think We Can Help?

If you think EPI can help you and your GEAR UP program, please contact us at or 703-875-0701 for more information.