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GEAR UP SWV

Securing a Legacy of Strength & Resilience in Appalachia

About GEAR UP SWV

Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) is a 7 year federal grant designed to increase the number of students who are prepared to enter and succeed in public and private colleges, universities, and community colleges immediately after high school.

GEAR UP SWV is a partnership grant of Concord University partnering with New River Community and Technical College, community organizations, business partners, and schools. Using a cohort model, GEAR UP SWV works with all students in the classes of 2028 and 2029 in Mercer, Monroe, Raleigh, Summers, and Wyoming Counties from 6th grade through their first year of post-secondary education.

The GEAR UP program provides funding and programming for professional development for teachers and administrators, academic and cultural enrichment for students, and assistance for parents and students in becoming familiar with college options, financial aid, and transition concerns.

Performance Measures:

  • Objective 1: Increase the academic performance and preparation for postsecondary education for students.
  • Objective 2: Increase the rate of high school graduation and enrollment in postsecondary education for schools.
  • Objective 3: Increase students’ and families’ knowledge of postsecondary education options, preparation, and financing.
  • Objective 4: Increase Academic, Postsecondary, and Social and Emotional Resilience.

Where is GEAR UP SWV Located?

Who We Serve

GEAR UP SWV serves students who will graduate high school in class of 2028 and 2029

How GEAR UP SWV Can Help You

Geri Nauck

 West Virginia is rated as one of the highest low-income states in America, listed in 4th place. 

Together, we can change this through increasing services such as mentoring, workshops, college visits, and financial literacy lessons.

This can be combated through career exploration and job shadowing to support future employees within West Virginia.

Unemployment rates rose in West Virginia to 7.9%, while America’s national average unemployment rate declined to 6.3%. 

Low postsecondary rates lower West Virginia employment opportunities. 

Increasing enrollment rates of four-year colleges will increase better-paying job opportunities. Bachelor graduates make twice as much as high school graduates.

Postsecondary success activities increase employment opportunities and increase one’s annual income.

The average income of a person living in West Virginia is $46,711, while the average annual income for the nation is $68,703, putting West Virginia at a $21,992 difference from the national average.

The National Center for Education Statistics calculated that college attendees from rural areas comprise 29%, while people from cities were 48%. 

Increasing academic counseling and college visits aid in the availability of resources for children and families in rural areas.

GEAR UP SWV services provide 24-hour online tutor services that increase students’ academic performance.

Income level affects students’ academic performance, represented in a math proficiency test comparison indicating a decreasing gap between 8th and 11th graders within West Virginia.

GEAR UP SWV Central Office Staff

Womack, Sheila Barnhart
Womack, Sheila Barnhart
GEAR UP SWV Assistant Director
304-384-6298
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Ashford, Lesley
Ashford, Lesley
GEAR UP SWV Finance and Contracts Manager
304-384-5245
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Doty, Jessica
Doty, Jessica
GEAR UP SWV Communications Manager / Cheerleading Coach
304-384-5981
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Frame, Jennifer
Frame, Jennifer
GEAR UP SWV Partnership Coordinator
304-384-6229
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Puckett, Tracy
Puckett, Tracy
GEAR UP SWV Partnership Coordinator
304-384-6230
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Robinson, Catrice
Robinson, Catrice
GEAR UP SWV Family Engagement Coordinator
304-384-6231
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Williams, Kristen
Williams, Kristen
IHE Local Coordinator for GEAR UP SWV
304-384-5269
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Wilson, Marcus
Wilson, Marcus
GEAR UP SWV Administrative Assistant

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Tammy Mills

Mills, Tammy
GEAR UP SWV Coordinator and Community Outreach
304-929-5471