Edstar has years of experience with both Partnership and State-wide GEAR UP evaluation. We have customized data management systems for data collection and reporting.

Program Evaluation and Customized Data Collection

Since 2000, we have been evaluating Department of Education grants, including GEAR UP Partnership grants, and expanding our expertise to Statewide GEAR UP grants in both North Carolina and Mississippi since 2015. Currently, we are providing GEAR UP program evaluation services in Mississippi. At Edstar, we have developed a comprehensive system of resources tailored for GEAR UP evaluation. Dr. Janet Johnson brings extensive experience to our team, having served on various committees such as the Data and Service Quality Committee, the Research and Evaluation Committee, and as a representative on the Executive Committee for the National College and Career Readiness Evaluation Consortium (CCREC), including its Evaluation and Research Committee for CCREC 2.0.


GEAR UP Data Management System

Our secure data management system is robust, ensuring that data collected from school staff is consistent with work plans. Any discrepancies are quickly identified and returned for correction, maintaining the high quality and integrity of the data. This meticulous process allows us to guarantee that the data not only meets but exceeds GEAR UP reporting standards.

Custom Data Collection Resources

At Edstar, we understand that accurate data collection is crucial to successful GEAR UP program evaluation. We provide clean datasets by using a range of customized data collection tools designed to meet the specific needs of GEAR UP reporting. Our online sign-in sheets streamline event-based data collection by capturing student-level information, allowing us to track participation effectively. Additionally, we process written sign-in sheets, formatted specifically to gather the necessary data for annual performance reports (APR).

Ensuring Data Consistency and Reliability

Our data collection tools are designed with precision to ensure that data from service providers is accurately categorized and aligns with GEAR UP’s stringent requirements. We customize our forms to make it easy for service providers to enter their service information without needing to understand the specific GEAR UP categories. This way, providers can focus on delivering their services, while we ensure that the data is correctly classified for GEAR UP’s reporting needs.

By aligning our data management practices with GEAR UP standards, we help you avoid common data collection pitfalls, ensuring your program’s data is accurate, reliable, and readily available for annual reporting. This meticulous approach supports a smooth and streamlined reporting process, making it easier for your program to meet its compliance and accountability requirements.

Whether you operate a GEAR UP program or any educational program that requires evaluation in the form of data collection, data analysis, and reporting, Edstar Analytics should be your first and only choice.  Dr. Janet Johnson and staff excel at providing timely and excellent quality services.  Large program or small, you won’t find a better evaluation service provider with the skill and experience to make sense of what is going on in the program and be able to summarize results in plain English.  My experience with Dr. Johnson as our GEAR UP program evaluation provider gives me confidence to highly recommend Edstar Analytics.  I consider them to be the best in the business.
Dr. Carol Cutler White

Former Principal Investigator, GEAR UP NC

Continuous Formative Feedback

We provide easy-to-understand info-graphics for feedback to the management and school staffs, in addition to writing the Annual Performance Report.

Relevant Presentations

  • Janet Johnson, Eric Sparks, & Nikki Liles, Aligning College and Career Readiness Metrics with the ASCA National Model. NCASC Conference, North Carolina. November 2018
  • Rungano Nyejeka, Nikki Liles, Janet Johnson, The Incredibles – NC Educators Guiding Student Success, ACT Conference, Raleigh NC, November 2018
  • Janet Johnson & Carol Cutler White, Hidden Figures: Promoting Readiness. NCCEP GEAR UP Conference, San Francisco. July 2017
  • Janet Johnson & Carol Cutler White, The GEAR UP Rubix Cube. NCCEP GEAR UP Conference, Washington D. C. July 2016.
  • Janet Johnson & Carol Cutler White, EDSTAR Analytics. How to Create Logic Models/Theory of Change. Synergy Conference. March 2016

Aspiration Plans: A Tool for Post-Secondary Planning

As part of our GEAR UP data collection website, Edstar offers the Aspiration Plans tool to guide students in their post-secondary education planning. This integrated resource helps schools and GEAR UP clients support students as they explore college and career pathways.

Aspiration Plans includes structured lessons covering essential topics like college exploration, financial aid, test preparation, and high school graduation requirements (customized to the state or school districts). Each lesson can be delivered as a self-guided video or through teacher-led kits with PowerPoint presentations and lesson plans.

To ensure learning outcomes and track progress, the lessons feature pre- and post-lesson surveys. These surveys allow educators to assess student understanding and gather valuable feedback. After completing the lessons, students take a comprehensive survey to outline their educational plans. This survey creates a downloadable document showing required courses and recommended pathways for post-secondary goals.