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GEAR UP Program

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Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs


GEAR UP is designed to support students from middle school through their first year of college as they explore, prepare for, and navigate postsecondary education.

The GEAR UP Program at RCSJ serves Bridgeton City Public Schools students and their families. We are actively recruiting students from our partner schools (currently in grades 7-11):

  • Bridgeton High School
  • ExCEL Program
  • Quarter Mile Lane School
  • West Avenue School

​​For more information or if you are interested in being a GEAR UP Scholar, please contact us at 856-200-4822 or [email protected] (hablo español).​​​

View or print the GEAR UP application:​ 

New Student Application (English)

New Student Application (español).

Our Mission​

Our mission is to increase the number of students from the City of Bridgeton that obtain a high school diploma and who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education.

Program Objectives

Our program objective is to provide students with a solid foundation that enables successful completion of higher education programs that lead to career fields in which persons from minority and/or disadvantaged backgrounds are underrepresented.

The program consists of an academic year program and a summer enrichment program that aims to increase skills in math, science, ELA, and technology. Also, an emphasis is placed on socio-emotional learning, cultivating self-esteem, and developing leaders who will be prepared to navigate postsecondary education and enter the workforce.

Services and Activities

There is no cost for participation in any GEAR UP service or activity. Transportation and meals provided when necessary. 

GEAR UP Scholars will have access to:

  • Academic Year and Summer enrichment programs on RCSJ Cumberland Campus
  • Academic advising and personal counseling
  • Mentoring
  • Leadership development activities
  • Cultural and educational trips
  • College visits and tours
  • College application assistance
  • Financial aid information workshops
  • Parent activities 

The academic year program includes a collaboration with the target school to provide academic and career counseling, mentoring, and tutoring. Saturday Academy, which consists of instructional classes, also includes assisting with college applications and financial aid forms and mentor workshops.

The six-week Summer Academy is a comprehensive program designed to encourage and support rising 7th-12th grade students to improve their performance in school and prepare to attend college. By providing academic enrichment in core subjects, mentoring, tutoring, counseling, trips, and various enrichment activities, GEAR UP offers a holistic educational experience to GEAR UP Scholars every summer.​

The program is supported by funds from the U.S. Department of Education administered through the New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education (OSHE), Bridgeton City Public Schools, and Rowan College of South Jersey.​

Contact Us

Rowan College of South Jersey - Cumberland Campus
Student Services Building
3322 College Drive
Vineland, NJ 08360
856-200-4822 | [email protected] (hablo español)


Shanice Ruiz, Director
Email: [email protected]

Marla Jimenez, Administrative Specialist/Data Assistant
Email: [email protected] 

​Karina Bravo, Postsecondary Success Specialist
Email: [email protected]

Danielle Zimecki Fennimore, Curriculum Specialist
Email: [email protected]

We're Hiring!

Please visit the RCSJ Cumberland Employment Opportunities page to view our available openings:

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