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GEAR UP Kentucky Summer Academy

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What is the GEAR UP Kentucky Summer Academy?

The GEAR UP Kentucky Summer Academy is a three week residential summer enrichment program on a university campus sponsored by the GEAR UP Kentucky program. Students have a daily schedule of classes taught by college professors and experience life as a college student by staying in a campus dorm, eating in campus dining halls, and interacting with college staff and students. The goal of the program is to help students develop the skills needed for college & career success and create the opportunity to visualize themselves as a future college student. In addition to academic content, students will explore different career and college options, learn how to apply for college & financial aid, and get insight into life on a college campus.

When and where is it?

The following GEAR UP Summer Academies will be offered in summer 2016:

Morehead State University: June 5 – 24
The Academy@MSU will emphasize student experiences in electronics and space.  The curriculum immerses students in the knowledge of satellites, allowing them to design, build, test and launch small tracking satellite-like devices, which will record data students will later analyze and present to their fellow academy participants.

Western Kentucky University:  June 19 -July 9
The Academy@WKU will build students’ research and writing skills through the colleges of Business and Economics and Health Sciences. Students will also participate in a significant community service component called the $100 Solution.

University of Kentucky: July 10 -30
The Academy@UK will focus on building students’ research skills, argumentative writing, information literacy, public speaking, visual literacy, digital citizenship and web publishing. The colleges involved include Agriculture, Arts and Sciences, Business and Economics, Communications, Education, Engineering, Fine Arts, and the Science Outreach Center.

University of Louisville: July 10 – 30 (rising 11th graders only)
The Academy@UofL will focus on health sciences including Dentristry, Nursing, Public Health, and Psychology


How much does it cost?

The Academy is provided at no cost for GUK students/families. Please note that GEAR UP will not provide transportation to or from the Summer Academy campuses this year, but schools that choose to provide transportation for their participating students will be reimbursed.

What will students do?

While each campus has a unique interdisciplinary curriculum, all are comprised of three core components: General Studies Core Courses to build research, writing, and communication skills; Focus Areas for in-depth, hands-on learning in specific academic/career fields; and Café College, to build success skills and strategies for college, such as time management and networking.

Added in 2015, parallel parent sessions are now offered at the opening and closing of each Academy to expose families to the campus and support resources. Parents will also be invited to campus to attend a showcase presentation of student work at the end of the three-week Academy.

Who is eligible to apply?

To be eligible to apply, a student must:

  •  Be enrolled in a high school participating in the GEAR UP Kentucky, GEAR UP Appalachia! (Berea College), or GEAR UP Promise Neighborhood (Berea College) programs.
  • Be a rising 10th, 11th or 12th grader (on track to successfully complete the their current grade before the Academy begins)
  • Have completed the PLAN assessment as a high school student
  • Have a minimum GPA of 2.0


How do students apply?

Eligible students must do three things by the deadline to be considered for participation:

  1. Complete an online application form by the deadline
  2. Submit a School Staff Recommendation Form with two school staff signatures other than their GEAR UP College and Career Advisor. Recommendations can can be from a teacher(s), counselor, and/or principal.


When is the deadline to apply?

Online applications and recommendation forms must be complete and submitted by March 11, 2016. Recommendation forms may be turned in to the GEAR UP College and Career Advisor or emailed to the GEAR UP office.

How will students be selected?

A selection committee will review the complete applications received and make selections based on a number of criteria intended to identify students who would most benefit from the Academy experience. Selected students will receive an acceptance letter & registration packet (student handbook, etc.) in April.