Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education

Gaining confidence, college prep is goal of GEAR UP Kentucky summer academies

June 17, 2022

Students with GEAR UP Kentucky Postsecondary Transition Coordinator Mary Jackson.

The first of two summer academies focused on preparing high schoolers for college success is wrapping up this week at Eastern Kentucky University.

The 20 participating students from GEAR UP Kentucky’s partner schools have been on EKU’s campus since June 12 learning skills to help prepare them academically and personally for college. The second academy will be hosted at Morehead State University July 10-29.

“These summer academies are designed to help students gain confidence and show them they can be successful in a college classroom,” said GEAR UP Executive Director Kim Drummond Welch. “It is important to give students these experiences early in their high school years so they can better understand what is possible for them. It is also an opportunity to meet other students from around the state and make lasting connections.”

Each student participated in one of two courses, medical terminology or painting for non-majors, taught by EKU professors, for which they can earn three hours of college credit. The students were also led through the GUK101 Curricula created by GEAR UP, which focuses on the F.A.C.E.S. (financial, academic, cultural, emotional and social) of postsecondary readiness.

Additionally, students had the opportunity to experience EKU aviation simulators, attend EKU and Berea College admission presentations and tours, and participated in other educational and recreational activities including visiting Fort Boonesborough State Park and the Aviation Museum of Kentucky, swimming, hiking, writing poetry and taking a Booiaka fitness dance class.

High school freshmen from the 12 school districts served by GEAR UP Kentucky were invited to apply for both summer academies. The students participating in the EKU academy are from Augusta Independent School, Bath County High School, Bourbon County High School, Holmes High School, Marion County High School, Mason County High School, Mercer County Senior High School, Paris High School, Pendleton County High School and Robertson County School.

The mission of GEAR UP Kentucky is to increase the number of students in low-income Kentucky communities who are ready to successfully transition to and through postsecondary education. The organization’s work serves the state’s educational attainment goal of 60% of Kentuckians earning a college degree or credential by 2030. GEAR UP is funded by a $24.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education administered by the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education.

Last Updated: 6/30/2022