West Virginia GEAR UP is a federally-funded, six-year program aimed at "Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs." The program helps students in ten high-need counties plan, apply and pay for training beyond high school.
The program stresses the importance of earning a two or four-year degree after high school, and provides students with resources to help them obtain those degrees. The program’s ultimate goal is to build a sustainable education program that can be implemented statewide.
The class of 2014 will get even more help from WV GEAR UP. This group will act as a study group, used to determine what services are effective at increasing high school and college graduation rates. Students in that class will receive GEAR UP services every year, from now through their graduation. The WV GEAR UP grant will also fund technology for every grade level the class enters, which will provide additional learning tools for students following the class of 2014.
WV GEAR UP will serve more than 13,000 students in Boone, Clay, Lincoln, McDowell, Mingo, Roane, Summers, Webster, Wirt and Wyoming counties from 2008 through 2014.
The West Virginia GEAR UP program is coordinated by the Division of Student Success and P-20 Initiatives within the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission. The Division also coordinates the College Foundation of West Virginia (CFWV), College Goal Sunday West Virginia, and some outreach services for adult learners. The Commission is the coordinating body for the state’s four-year public colleges and universities, and is responsible for developing, establishing and overseeing the implementation of a public policy agenda for the institutions.
Goals of the Program
Academic Performance and Rigorous Preparation
West Virginia GEAR UP aims to significantly increase both the academic performance and the rigorous preparation of students for participation in postsecondary education.
Enrollment and Success in Postsecondary Education
West Virginia GEAR UP works to increase the number of high-poverty, at-risk students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education.
High School Graduation and Beyond
West Virginia GEAR UP aims to significantly increase the rate of high school graduation and participation of GEAR UP students in postsecondary education.
West Virginia GEAR UP works with students' families to significantly increase GEAR UP students'/families' knowledge of postsecondary educational institutions, admissions requirements, and financial aid.
West Virginia GEAR UP staff and coordinating bodies work to ensure the effective efficient and most appropriate use of resources through intentional collaboration with identified partners that are committed to GEAR UP goals.
What is West Virginia GEAR UP?
West Virginia GEAR UP is a federally funded, six-year program aimed at “Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate programs.” The program helps students plan, apply and pay for training beyond high school.
What does GEAR UP provide?
West Virginia GEAR UP will provide:
- Tutoring (class of 2014)
- Mentoring (class of 2014)
- College Visits/Field Trips
- Financial Aid Workshops
- Educational Tools and Technology (class of 2014)
- Career Planning
- Leadership Training
- Residential Summer Camps
- Test Preparation/Study Skills Workshops
- Parent and Community Activities
- Awards and Recognition Events
- Financial incentive awards for college
Who is Eligible?
WV GEAR UP serves students in 14 schools within ten high-need counties (including Boone, Clay, Lincoln, McDowell, Mingo, Roane, Summers, Webster, Wirt and Wyoming). Eleventh and 12th grade students in GEAR UP schools from 2008 to 2014 are eligible to receive GEAR UP services. The class of 2014 will also receive GEAR UP services every year through their graduation.
West Virginia GEAR UP Schools
- Clay County High School
- Lincoln County High School
- Mingo Central High School
- Mount View High School
- River View High School
- Roane County High School
- Scott High School (class of 2014 only)
- Sherman High School
- Summers County High School
- Tug Valley High School
- Webster County High School
- Westside High School
- Wirt County High School (class of 2014 only)
- Wyoming County East High School
Why these ten counties?
The ten counties were selected based on their score in the Educational Needs Index, a system measuring poverty levels, high school and college graduation rates, household income and other economic indicators. The counties with the most critical ratings in the index, that are not already being served by another GEAR UP grant, were chosen to receive GEAR UP funds.
Why does the class of 2014 receive additional support?
The class of 2014 will serve as a study group to determine the effectiveness of early intervention in providing GEAR UP services. Programs that are shown to be effective in increasing high school and college graduation rates for this class will be considered for statewide policy implementation.
West Virginia GEAR UP is part of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission's Division of Student Success and P-20 Initiatives.
West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission
Division of Student Success and P-20 Initiatives
1018 Kanawha Boulevard East, Suite 700
Charleston, WV 25301
(304) 558-0655 | (304) 558-0658 fax
- Dr. Adam S. Green - Senior Director for Student Success and P-20 Initiatives
Brandon Hughes - College Access Program Liaison
- Michelle Johnson - West Virginia GEAR UP Research and Data Analyst
- Jessica Kennedy - Assistant Director of Communications
- Heather McChesney - Coordinator of Curriculum and Professional Development
- Scott McDonie - Assistant Director of Fiscal and Administrative Services
- Melissa Gattuso - West Virginia GEAR UP Regional Coordinator, Southern Region
Based at Concord University
P.O. Box 1000 Box #F21 | Athens, WV 24712
- JR Luyster - West Virginia GEAR UP Regional Coordinator, Central Region
Based at Glenville State College
200 High Street| Glenville, WV 26351
- Elizabeth Manuel - West Virginia GEAR UP Regional Coordinator, Southwestern Region
Based at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College
P.O. Box 2900 | Mount Gay, WV 25637
- Autumn Perry - College Foundation of West Virginia Educational Outreach Coordinator
Based at Shepherd University
Contact us at (304) 558-0655 or firstname.lastname@example.org.