Kentucky: Council on Postsecondary Education

GEAR UP summer academies to introduce at-risk students to college

Release Date: March 25, 2004
Contact: Sue Patrick
Phone: (502) 573-1555

Contact: Marc Whitt
Phone: (859) 622-8615

(Frankfort, KY) GEAR UP Kentucky, a federally funded initiative operated by the Council on Postsecondary Education, will offer two college-experience academies this summer for low-income and academically at-risk students. The intervention programs are designed to raise students' awareness of postsecondary education opportunities and to help prepare them for academic success.

Featuring authentic activities that center on campus life and college course work, the academies will enroll 130 high-school students from participating schools across Kentucky. Each of the two academies will be held at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond.

According to Yvonne Lovell, statewide director of GEAR UP, research shows that the greatest predictors of retention in high school and access to college are academic skills and a supportive environment. These supports are often not available to the typical GEAR UP student at home, she said.

"These summer programs aim at bridging the gap of support for academically at-risk students--students who are not on track to take a college preparatory curriculum in high school," said Lovell.

"We are very pleased to work with Eastern Kentucky University to offer the very first summer academic experience for students," she added.

The week-long College Awareness Academy, to be held July 11-17, will give 65 incoming freshmen a preview of the college experience and will offer activities to prepare students for the transition from middle school to high school.

The second academy is a three-week College Readiness Academy, set for July 11-31. It will bring back 65 participants from last year's awareness academy for activities that enrich their academic preparation for a 10th-grade pre-college curriculum including mathematics and chemistry.

In addition to the summer academies at EKU, Northern Kentucky University, Madisonville Community College, Hopkinsville Community College, Hazard Community and Technical College and Georgetown College will offer summer programs for GEAR UP students.

GEAR UP is a federal initiative that encourages young people to stay in school, study hard, and take the right courses to go to college. Through a GEAR UP state grant, the GEAR UP Kentucky programs provide college awareness and preparation through activities such as academic enrichment programs, mentoring and counseling, among other support services.

For more information on the academies, contact GEAR UP coordinator Terry Wilson at EKU at 859-622-6644


Kentucky's Postsecondary Education System encompasses nine public institutions and numerous independent institutions and represents 229,061 students, 538,866 Kentucky alumni, and 275,108 GED recipients. When Kentuckians earn postsecondary degrees, their skills improve and their wages go up; they are more likely to lead healthy lives and be engaged in their communities; and they build better futures for themselves and for their families.


Last Updated 8/3/2005