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Wichita State University Awarded $9.8M For GEAR UP Partnership With USD 259

Wichita Public Schools

Wichita State University will continue to offer a college-prep program for middle school students in the Wichita school district for at least seven more years.

WSU received grants worth $9.8 million for the Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP).

About 1,850 7th-grade students at nine middle schools will receive support throughout middle and high school, and into their first year of college.

GEAR UP is a pre-college program that prepares students to enter and succeed in postsecondary education by addressing academic rigor, family and community engagement, financial literacy and by providing information about applying for and paying for college. Each school in the program has a GEAR UP counselor that works with students and families by providing tutoring, workshops, financial aid counseling and arranging college visits.

The schools that are involved in the GEAR UP program are Coleman, Curtis, Jardine, Truesdell, Hadley, Hamilton, Marshall, Mead and Pleasant Valley Middle Schools, as well as North, South, Southeast and West High Schools.

“One of my goals as superintendent is to make sure all of our students are college and career ready. The GEAR UP partnership with Wichita State is a perfect example providing academic and social and emotional support for our students so they can get an idea of what the future holds for them,” said Superintendent Dr. Alicia Thompson in a news release.

"Wichita State University is excited about the opportunity to impact the lives of students within the Wichita Public Schools," said WSU Vice President for Diversity and Community Engagement Dr. Marche´ Fleming-Randle. "This partnership will prepare students to succeed in college and allow Wichita to grow their own. This is higher education and secondary education working together to make a difference in our community.” 

Wichita State and Wichita Public Schools began their partnership with the GEAR UP program in 2014. GEAR UP is funded by the U.S. Department of Education.


Follow Deborah Shaar on Twitter @deborahshaar

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