""Maine State GEAR UP Program
Creating a College-Going Culture in Maine

It's important to share best practices and learn from one another!

Events & Photos

NCCEP and GEAR UP for Excellence
2011 Youth Leadership Summit
July 17-20, 2011 | San Francisco, California




Watch the entire introduction and Susan Collin's acceptance speech for the Champion of Student Success Award at the 2011 NCCEP Conference

GEAR UP Student Rodney Banks facilitates a youth panel at the conference on "Ways to unlock potential and develop individual determination."


GEAR UP student Rodney Banks Gets Mentioned in Senator Susan Collins (R-ME)
Champion of Student Success Award Acceptance Speech the at the conference.

Senator Susan Collins receives the Champion of Student Success award at the National Council for Community and Education Partnerships (NCCEP) conference that took place July 17-20, 2011 in San Francisco, California. In her acceptance speech, Collins talks about the importance of supporting programs such as GEAR UP, as well as mentioning a quotation from Maine's Lee Academy senior and GEAR UP student Rodney Banks.


National Council for Community and Education Partnerships (NCCEP) Capacity-Building Workshop 2011
February 13-16, 2011 | Orlando, FL

Maine State GEAR UP Presentation:
Bridging the Gap: Ensuring College Success for Maine GEAR UP Graduates

Design Team Presenters: Wendy Allen, Pam Flood, Debbie Gilmer, Beth Lambert, Kathryn Markovchick & Rick Wilson


Maine Educational Opportunity Association (MEEOA)
Conference 2011
January 5-7, 2011 | Orono, ME

Maine State GEAR UP Presentation: Personal Learning/ Living Plans: A tool for your own well being and your students’ success.

Presenter: Beth Lambert


  • Reflection Log (pdf)
  • Union Pacific Research Brief - Personalized Learning in the High School (pdf)

MELMAC and GEAR UP Peer Learning: Building a College Access Team at your School
October 4, 2010 | Augusta, ME

Presenter: Beth Lambert


2010 NCCEP/GEAR UP Annual Conference
GEARing UP for Excellence: Linking Programs, Practice and Policy
July 18-21, 2010 | Washington, DC

Maine State GEAR UP Gallery Walk Posters (pdf)

Maine State GEAR UP Workshop: College for ALL, Really! Opportunities and Implications of the New HEOA for GEAR UP Programs
Presented by: Debbie Gilmer with Meg Grigal of Transcen, Inc. and Think College
July 20, 2010

This session will address new, emerging policy and practice that should be of great interest to the GEAR UP community. As we know, GEAR UP is designed to increase the number of low-income students prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. Now, for the first time, students with intellectual disabilities have access to higher education including Pell Grants and work study. Learn strategies and supports GEAR UP can provide ALL students in our cohorts to aspire to and succeed in college. This engaging presentation will share emerging practices from around the country including implications for our GEAR UP programs. 


  • College for ALL power point presentation (ppt)
  • Alternative Pathways (doc)
  • HEAC Overview (pdf)
  • Think College 4 Year IHEs (doc)
  • College for ALL Final Activity (doc)

Maine State GEAR UP Workshop: Personalized Learning: Engaging, Preparing and Inspiring Students
Presented by: Beth Lambert and Rick Wilson
July 21, 2010

The need to keep low-income students engaged in their education and to ensure they graduate from high school has become increasingly critical during the past decade. It is equally important to ensure that once these students graduate, they aspire to, are prepared for, and can secure the financial and social supports necessary for success. In this interactive workshop, participants will learn about three research-based strategies that have a far-reaching impact on the involvement of families, educators, students and community in youth education: personal learning plans, student-led conferences and student portfolios. These strategies promote understanding of students’ strengths and aspirations; engage families in educational planning and increase aspirations for their children; and develop students’ goal-setting, resource-acquisition and problem-solving skills. Participants will explore different ways in which these strategies can be implemented in their own work with students and families.


  • Personalized Learning power point presentation (ppt)
  • Union Pacific Research Brief - Personalized Learning Plans (pdf)
  • Union Pacific Research Brief - Student Led Conferences (pdf)
  • Research Brief - Student Portfolios (doc)
  • Reflection Log (pdf)


Forum 2009: Education and the American Future
College Board National Forum 2009

Maine State GEAR UP Workshop: Personalizing Learning: Engaging, Preparing and Inspiring Students
October 22, 2009 | Hilton New York


  • Union Pacific Research Brief - Personalized Learning Plans (pdf)
  • Union Pacific Research Brief - Student Led Conferences (pdf)
  • Research Brief - Student Portfolios (doc)

Annual Listing of Professional Conferences and Events with a College-Going Focus 2009-2010

(opens in new window)

Please check this page often to find a listing of professional conferences and events with a college-going focus.

MELMAC Education Foundation Peer Learning
October 27, 2009 | Augusta, ME

Maine State GEAR UP Workshop: Open Space Technology: Personalized Learning

Maine State GEAR UP Workshop: Open Space Technology: Student Led Conferences


  • What is Open Space and Resources (doc)

Maine Education Opportunity Association (MEEOA) Conference 2009
October 2, 2009 | Presque Isle, ME

Maine State GEAR UP Workshop: Personal Learning Plans: From Seeds to Harvest
Presented By: Emily Liebling, Beth Lambert, & Wendy Allen


  • Montpelier PLP Teacher Guide (pdf)
  • Article: Personalized Learning in the High School (pdf)

Maine State GEAR UP Workshop: Open Space Technology
Presented By: Emily Liebling, Beth Lambert, & Wendy Allen


  • What is Open Space and Resources (doc)

New England Educational Opportunity Association (NEOA)
33rd Annual Conference - April 2009

"Personal Learning Plans: The Journey of Three Maine GEAR UP Schools in Developing and Implementing PLPs"

Personal Learning Plans (PLP) draw upon students’ individual strengths and actively engage them in learning.  GEAR UP staff led a workshop at the NEOA conference this year to explore stellar examples of PLPs with session participants.  Staff from three Maine GEAR UP schools shared their successes and challenges with implementing PLPs, and answered questions from the group about implementation strategies.  Below are the handouts from that workshop, including examples of stellar PLPs from a few Maine schools.


  • Bonny Eagle Handouts (pdf)
  • Mt. Abram Handouts (pdf)
  • Southern Aroostook Handouts (pdf)
  • Sumner Handouts (pdf)
  • Promising Futures (doc)
NEOA Photo 3 NEOA Photo 1 NEOA Photo 2
Skype allowed us to connect virtually with principals and GU Liaisons at Southern Aroostook and Mt. Abram High School.

GEAR UP Yearbook 2008 (pdf)

If you would like a paper copy of the 2008 GEAR UP Yearbook, please email Jenny (jenny@syntiro.org) with your request.

MEEOA Conference


  • Celebratory Learning Web [pdf]
  • Attributes at the Heart of Celebratory Learning [pdf]
  • Reflection Log/Agenda & GEAR UP info [pdf]
  • Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants [pdf]

New England GEAR UP Conference
Raising Aspirations - New England GEARs UP for College

Samoset Resort, Rockport, Maine
Monday, October 29 - Tuesday, October 30, 2007

New England state and partnership GEAR UP programs joined us during a two-day conference at the Samoset Resort in the beautiful coastal town of Rockport, Maine. Speaking at the conference were Maine Department of Education Commissioner, Susan Gendron, as well as featured speakers Dr. Russell J. Quaglia, President and Founder of the Quaglia Institute for Student Aspirations, and Douglas E. Luffborough III, Executive Director of Turning the Hearts Center.

All workshops were interactive and had built-in time for Q&A. Workshops included curriculum development, parent involvement, leveraging and aligning resources within a school, building alliances in your schools, and serving students with disabilities, as well as workshops targeted for program directors and another strand for program coordinators. There was also a successful call-in for principals to share strategies used at their schools to raise aspirations and promote a college-going culture.

Featured Presenters Included:

Russ Quaglia - Raising Student Aspirations
Read more about Russ at the Quaglia Institute - http://www.qisa.org/

Doug Luffborough - Homeless to Harvard
Read more about Doug at the GEAR UP for Excellence site, http://www.gearupforexcellence.com/speakers/doug_home.htm
or visit his non-profit, Turning the Hearts Center - http://www.turningtheheartscenter.org/

100 College Going Strategies

New! Flip through the 100 College Going Strategies booklet to learn ideas about how to promote a college-going culture in your school!




National GEAR UP logo
Maine Department of Education Logo Syntiro The Maine State GEAR UP program is funded through a grant (reference #P3345050037; James Davis, Project Officer,) from the U.S. Department of Education to the Maine Department of Education and is managed by Syntiro.
Contact Us Maine State GEAR UP 11 South Road Readfield, ME 04355
p: (866) 291-0004 f: (866) 883-9271 beth@syntiro.org