Illinois Steps AHEAD/GEAR UP: Preparing Students for Success in College

For students to succeed in postsecondary education, they must be equipped with academic skills. Illinois Steps AHEAD, funded through the U.S. Department of Education and administered by the Illinois Department of Human Services, works to increase the number of low-income students who apply, are accepted to and succeed in college. The program provides after-school services to middle and high school students such as tutoring, career exploration, and college preparation activities. Supports for parents include college visits and financial planning workshops. CPRD is the research and evaluation partner and provides data collection and analysis services for the project. CPRD staff work closely with Illinois Steps AHEAD administrators to use the information collected for program planning and improvement.