Document Type

Capstone Project (Open Access)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


Health, Human Services and Public Policy

First Advisor

Laurencia Walker

Second Advisor

Diana Valle


At Salinas High School there is a low number of high school students completing CSU/UC requirements. In the academic year of 2015, there was a total of 560 high school graduates, of these students 245 graduated with all CSU/UC requirements which is 43%. Gear Up (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) has a purpose of helping students succeed throughout high school. Gear Up promotes post-secondary education by taking field trips, working with parents, and offering tutoring before and after school as well as during lunch are some of the resources offered. Gear Up & Beyond was developed as an extension of the program, providing a supplemental support system for nine first-generation female students. This particular group faces more challenges, and benefit from focusing on the resources needed to succeed. First-generation students often lack important ‘college knowledge’ about the process of preparing, applying, and paying for college due to the lack of experience with postsecondary education in their families. This capstone project was designed to promote post-secondary education by highlighting A-G requirements and the process of applying to College. The project consisted of 14 sessions of students reviewing transcripts, careers and colleges, community service, scholarships/ financial aid, personal statements, smart goals, and a speaker. One of the strengths of the project is the posters that students prepared containing research on their desired majors that were posted around campus; and thus reached the entire student body. The program will be continued with changes students suggested, for example, conducting the meetings after school instead of during lunch, among others.