Edited from a Press Release
Rising high school juniors to “GEAR UP” for college during annual college prep academy

Wednesday, more than 220 rising high school juniors are expected to arrive in Huntington, WV, to participate in a summer academy that gives students a taste of college life.

The West Virginia “Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs” (GEAR UP) program will host its annual GEAR UP U event on the campus of Marshall University from Wednesday, June 27 to Saturday, June 30. GEAR UP U, which is coordinated by staff of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (Commission), will give students the opportunity to sharpen their leadership skills, to participate in team-building activities and to engage in near-peer mentoring sessions led by counselors who are current college students. The event will also provide students with information regarding the college-going process and how they can prepare for college now.

Students who attend GEAR UP U will participate in classes based on the major they selected during the enrollment process. Majors include the Arts (Humanities, Communications and Design); Forensic Sciences and Criminal Justice; Health Sciences; Sports Management and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). Attendees will also participate in a physical wellness course of their choosing. Options range from yoga to aquatics, to dance and basketball.

Dr. Paul L. Hill, Chancellor of the Commission, explained that GEAR UP U is one of West Virginia GEAR UP’s most successful initiatives.

“The best way to help students prepare for postsecondary education is to put them on a college campus to experience the atmosphere firsthand, and GEAR UP U gives them an authentic college experience,” said Hill. “By the time their senior year of high school arrives, students will have already been on a number of college campuses all across the state of West Virginia, making the choice just a little easier. We’re so happy to offer our students the opportunity to explore the beautiful campus of Marshall University this summer.”

Dr. Jerome A. Gilbert, President of Marshall University, expressed his excitement to have students from across the state on Marshall’s campus for the duration of the academy.

“On behalf of the entire Marshall University family, we express a warm welcome to the students who have been chosen to participate in GEAR UP U,” said Gilbert. “We hope that students enjoy their time learning about college and how to get there someday soon. And we hope to see these young leaders return to campus as Sons and Daughters of Marshall.”

West Virginia GEAR UP is a federally funded program that helps students in 10 counties prepare to succeed in education and training beyond high school. The program is managed by the Commission and serves students in Boone, Fayette, Mason, Mercer, Mingo, Nicholas, Summers, Webster, Wirt and Wyoming counties. For more information, visit www.wvgearup.org.