What is GEAR UP?

GEAR UP is a grant-funded program through the U.S. Department of Education that stands for “Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs.”

MVCC GEAR UP focuses on preparing students for college and the workplace by teaching them such skills as critical thinking; communication; information, technology, and media literacy; initiative; and productivity. The program provides services to all current 11th- and 12th-grade students in the Rome City School District and follows them through high school graduation and their first year of college.

GEAR UP commitment:

GEAR UP strives to ensure all students are academically, socially, and financially prepared to enter and complete the postsecondary program or institution of their choice. We believe that young people who start planning in middle school have a better chance of entering college and completing their degrees.

GEAR UP objectives:

  • Increase academic performance and preparation for postsecondary education
  • Increase high school graduation and postsecondary participation rates
  • Increase students’ and their families’ knowledge of postsecondary options, preparation, and finances

GEAR UP services:

  • Mentoring
  • Tutoring
  • Cultural enrichment
  • Financial aid information
  • College and career planning
  • Parental support groups
  • STEM enrichment
  • College visits and educational field trips
  • Community service opportunities


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Meet the GEAR UP Team


Todd Kubica
GEAR UP Director
tkubica@mvcc.edu | 315-731-5827


Steffani DiPierro
GEAR UP Coordinator
sdipierro@mvcc.edu | 315-334-7754

Daniel Michaels
GEAR UP Program Specialist


Office Location

Plumley Complex 121I, MVCC Rome Campus
1101 Floyd Avenue

Service Locations

Rome Free Academy, Room 1612