Wichita State University has been awarded $4.2 million from the U.S. Department of Education to implement GEAR UP in Haysville.
The GEAR UP program will provide sixth and seventh graders college prep services at Haysville and Haysville West middle schools. The program follows sixth and seventh graders through high school and will directly affect the classes of 2024 and 2025.
GEAR UP stands for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs. It’s a federally funded grant program designed to increase high school graduation rates and boost postsecondary education enrollment numbers.
Diana Carbajal, executive director for Haysville GEAR UP, said the program will act as an added support system for all sixth and seventh graders in the district.
“Sometimes in the school district, teacher’s can only cover so much ... we provide that additional help along with homework assistance and tutoring and mentoring after-school programs,” Carbajal said.
The program seeks to develop long-term, successful partnerships to help students reach college and succeed once they enroll.
GEAR UP offers a variety of opportunities to students. Carbajal said that the level of individual involvement will be up to students and their parents.
The grant will provide Haysville more than $8.4 million over the next seven years for college access and success services.
WSU partners with other area school districts on similar GEAR UP initiatives.
Audrey Korte is an intern in the KMUW News Lab.