2006 Illinois Steps AHEAD (GEAR UP) Fact Sheet

Illinois Steps AHEAD (Gear Up)
Program Fact Sheet

AHEAD (Attaining Higher Education through Academic Development)
GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs)

Office of Program Planning and Development
Division of Community Health & Prevention
Illinois Department of Human Services

Program Description


Illinois Steps AHEAD serves an entire cohort of low income students beginning no later than the seventh grade and follows the cohort through high school.


To increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in post-secondary education.


Scope of Illinois Steps AHEAD services include tutoring, college visits, ACT/SAT preparation, career exploration, job shadowing, and parent involvement activities. IDHS was awarded a $21 million grant by the U.S. Department of Education for 6 years, beginning September 2006. A total of $11.4 million will be put in a trust fund (interest bearing account) during the next six years ($1.9 million each year) for scholarships.

Delivery Method

The program is being implemented in connection with the Department's Teen REACH program and the Illinois State Board of Education's 21st Century Learning Center.

Program Data

Illinois Steps AHEAD / Gear Up Program Data
Performance Indicators SFY06
Grant Amount (Numbers in 000's) $309.10
Number of Grantees 20
Number Served NA