Since 2016 the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia (USG) has been designated by the Governor’s Office to lead GEAR UP Georgia. The goal of the GEAR UP Georgia Project is to increase the number of Georgia high-need students who obtain a secondary school diploma and are prepared for and succeed in postsecondary education. The project has a statewide scope, proposing to serve over 12,000 high need students in over 40 schools in disadvantaged pockets of the state. 

I have had multiple residents from The Methodist Home participate in various classes of the Orange Duffel Bag Initiative and GEAR UP Georgia program, and all have benefited from the program immensely. We always see improved attitudes and behavior, improved motivation regarding school and future planning, and connections to great support resources for our residents... it makes such a difference in their lives!

Cathy Houle

The Methodist Home, Macon


In order to increase postsecondary access and success for these students, two different approaches have been adopted as models for delivering services and activities. Kennesaw State University (KSU) has been charged with overseeing one of those models, the Priority Model.


The Priority Model aims to serve 1,000 high school youth who have experienced homelessness or the foster care system (Priority Students). Priority Students in grades 10th, 11th and 12th are identified and recruited across six counties in Georgia. Currently targeted counties are: Bibb, Clayton, Cobb, Floyd, Fulton and Polk. The future plan to scale up will include four additional counties.

Staff Information

  • Program Coordinator, GEAR UP
    (470) 578-7040
    ST 172

  • Program Assistant
    (470) 531-2236
    ST 172

  • Graduate Research Assistant
    (470) 578-5260
    ST 172

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