The Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) State Grant is a seven- year federal initiative designed to increase early college awareness, readiness, and success for low-income and historically underrepresented students. The grant follows a cohort of students starting in 7th grade through their first year of postsecondary education. Nationally, GEAR UP outcomes have shown positive student gains for participating students (e.g. students graduate from high school at a higher rate than their peers - regardless of ethnicity or income - and attend college at a higher rate). 

What are the Texas GEAR UP Program Initiatives?

Through the Texas GEAR UP:  Beyond Grad Program, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) will expand students' preparation for college and career through multiple interrelated initiatives: 

  • Promote early understanding of career opportunities and pathways by developing high-quality, Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS)-aligned curriculum and instructional materials for middle school educators and students; 
  • Increase student access to individualized college and career advising though enhanced training and professional development for district staff and strategic partnerships with community organizations; 
  • Develop and pilot an Effective Advising Framework (EAF) to offer districts a blueprint for developing and continuously improving a coordinated, high-impact, CCR Advising Program. 
  • Ensure access to a portfolio of high-quality tools and resources that support the work of college and career advisors with resources for students, parents and educators.


Grant Cycle: October 01, 2021 – September 30, 2028


GEAR UP Counselor

Oliveira MS

Alicia Rocha
Office: (956) 698-1826

Stell MS

Olga Rodriguez
Office: (956) 698-0363
Manzano MS Maria Perez
Office: (956) 548-9831
Vela MS Miriam Ontiveros
Office: (956) 698-0540




Grant Cycle: September 26, 2019 – September 25, 2024


GEAR UP Counselor
Lopez ECHS Pilar Janis
Office: 698-2197

Porter ECHS

Cristina Gazoria
Office: 547-6656
Rivera ECHS Felisa Van Cise
Office: (956) 698-6378

Katherine Iracheta
Office: (956) 698-0943