Increasing Post-Secondary Enrollment in Yancey County

This month has been all about college visits for GEAR UP! Since our last newsletter, we have taken students from East Yancey, Cane River and Mountain Heritage on six trips to tour regional college campuses and participate in a variety of Science, Technology, Math and Engineering (STEM) programming. Overall, just shy of 200 GEAR UP students from Yancey county have gotten a first-hand experience on a college campus this month, many for the very first time.

Cane River students join other GEAR UP schools from across the state in a drum circle at UNCA. In addition to working on their rhythm, students toured campus, heard presentations from a panel of students, and had lunch in the dining hall.

Seventh graders from East Yancey prepare for a campus tour at UNCA. Led by a senior Bulldog, students visited classrooms, raced around the indoor track, and heard a presentation from an admissions counselor.

Yancey County students check out a snake at ASU's STEM Expo. Middle-schoolers from across the state participated in the event, observing exhibits and hearing from science and technology professors at the university.
Our last college visit will be to Appalachian State University on Friday, April 19th. Once completed, every Yancey County seventh grader will have been given the opportunity to visit a college campus! Research shows that simply setting foot on a college campus greatly increases a student's chances of post-secondary enrollment. With experiences like these this early on, Mountain Heritage's graduating class of 2018 should yield a bumper crop college-bound students!

GEAR UP Coming Up!

  • ASULead Leadership Program: Congratulations to Mason Booth (Cane River), Alex Allman (East Yancey), Caitlin Carroll (East Yancey), and Megan Dust (East Yancey) for their selection as scholarship recipients to Appalachian State University's ASULead Program! These students will collaborate with 7th graders from across the state as they spend three days at Camp Broadstone in Boone developing their leadership skills.

  • 529 College Savings Day: On May 29th, parents, family, and friends are encouraged to take advantage of North Carolina's college savings account and begin saving for the student in their lives. GEAR UP will be hosting an informational event to assist families in understanding the benefits of the saving plan; more information coming soon!

  • High school Graduation 2013: Congratulations to GEAR UP's first group of seniors! We are looking forward to seeing you all succeed in your post-secondary plans!

  • Summer Enrichment for Middle-Schoolers: "The Way We Were" summer camp will give 80 middle school students the opportunity to participate in Appalachian heritage-based activities like canning, gardening and sewing. But shhh! Don’t tell them that they will be working on their math, science and reading skills at the same time! There will be two sessions of the camp: June 17 - 28 and July 1 - 12. Applications have gone home to all rising 7th and 8th graders. We very much look forward to a fun summer of learning.

  • Summer Enrichment for High-Schoolers: GEAR UP will also be offering two week-long programs to assist rising Seniors and rising college Freshmen in their transitions to college: an ACT preparation and retake program for rising Seniors from June 3- 8 and an ACCUPLACER prep program for community college bound students from June 10 - 14.

About GEAR UP in Yancey County

Funded by the U.S. Department of Education through the University of North Carolina, the GEAR UP NC program has three goals:

  • increase students’ academic performance and preparation for postsecondary education;
  • increase the rate of high school graduation and participation in postsecondary education; and
  • increase GEAR UP students’ and their families’ knowledge of postsecondary education options, preparation, and financing.

Eric Klein and Dora Smith

Eric Klein is the Yancey County GEAR UP Student Coordinator,

Dora Smith it the Yancey County GEAR UP Family and Community Facilitator.