GEAR UP Kentucky 3.0 Academy@UK

GEAR UP KY logoUGE logoThe Division of Undergraduate Education (UGE) has partnered with the Kentucky Council for Postsecondary Education (CPE)’s GEAR UP Kentucky  (GUK) Office to create a Summer Academy for June 2014 here at the University of Kentucky. Participants from the CPE GUK schools will be those students entering the 10th grade.  These students need to achieve the GUK criteria to participate in the summer academies offered across the state, including a minimum HS GPA of 2.0, no major disciplinary issues, free and reduced price lunch eligible, capable of advanced work as evidenced by their ACT EPAS scores, and a self- or teacher/counselor recommendation that the student is sufficiently independent as a learner. It is likely that the participants will be coming from families where no one else has gone to or finished college (thus becoming first generation college students).

GUK3.0 Academy@UKSince 2011 UGE has been in discussions with various UK academic and student support services units to create (what GUK announced at a stakeholders meeting last week) is a template for the rest of the postsecondary institutions in Kentucky to follow. UGE reached out to all the colleges (at last count, 13 of our 16 academic and professional colleges – not including Undergraduate Studies and Honors) offering undergraduate curriculum to help craft the Academy@UK curriculum.  In addition, UGE is relying on UK student support services (such as Enrollment Management, Student Affairs, Institutional Diversity and the UK Libraries) as well as key outreach units — College of Education P20 Innovation Labs, the College of Medicine’s AHEC Summer Health Career Camps and the Professional Education Preparation Program (PEPP), UK Ag Extension, the I-Net I-Academy and the College of Engineering’s K12 Programs.

The goal of this collaboration is to help these UK units – usually siloed from each other as they offer summer camps and outreach activities separately – to find some cost efficiencies in their planning together for the summer of 2014.  Even more importantly, they will learn from the GUK youth and their educators about their programs’ effectiveness. UKCoreBut working together to find key assessment points, i.e., those points in their programs where the youth will demonstrate college readiness transitions to the UK Core Program’s four student learning outcomes.

The Academy@UK will be a residential experience (called GEAR UP-2-CAMPUS) that will also involve a co-curricular component led by the GUK staff. Over a three-week period, the GUK staff will scaffold the University’s academic offerings with student development learning experiences that will support positive behavioral skills necessary for success in college. For example, GUK staff will teach sessions orienting the students to life at college, team-building and leadership skills, and procedural and practical information about the college application and enrollment process. UK faculty will lead the development of the enriched academic content – with opportunities for developing dual credit partnerships with the GUK schools – and opportunities for the students to develop and showcase their work. Some of the proposals UGE has received so far are:

  • College of Agriculture: a one-week leadership program with basic and applied sciences in agriculture, the ag industry and local/state politics – a revised and in-house version of the KY IFAL camps
  • College of Arts & Sciences: two online modular training units from a revised version of their IT IQ program, emphasizing information literacy and best practices in web publishing.
  • College of Communications & Information: two offerings, one in entrepreneurialism and team building skills (from the I-Net I-Academy) and the other in interpersonal communication skills (including a summer graduate course offering for high school teachers to be prepared to teach a UK COM252 course in a future dual credit partnership with their local schools)
  • College of Education: using the P20 Innovation Lab to offer the college/career readiness anchor standards in reading/writing and math literacies with a capstone experience of developing a Public Service Announcement – these skills will be developed through offerings in
    • reading and literature,
    • writing and research,
    • speaking and listening, and
    • language development with cross-curricular connections in the sciences, social sciences and mathematics
  • College of Fine Arts: an introduction to and training in visual arts, music, theatre and dance, including field trips to Arts events and museums with a culminating event in the 4Cs (creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, communication)
  • College of Medicine: PEPP and AHEC Summer Health Career Camps will offer one week workshops with problem-solving experiences utilizing tools of science (chemistry, physics, math, deductive reasoning) with both didactive and hands-on experimentation
  • International Center: orientation to global citizenship and hands-on learning experiences in intercultural workshops with a successful completion of the required activities leading to a “mini-certificate” in Global Studies
  • UK Libraries: supporting all discipline-based programming with information literacy exercises and demonstrations, including stand-alone sessions on critical thinking with digital media, library databases and the Internet overall.

More proposals continue to be submitted by UK colleges as we progress in our planning this summer.

Measures of success will fall into several categories:

  • Participation: includes number of applications, characteristics of the students, and students returning for more than one year.
  • Performance: includes program completion, possible college credits earned, and assessment results during and after the program that may take the form of student products or exhibitions, quality of work completed in courses and field/applied studies, absence of problems with attendance or discipline.
  • Feedback/Satisfaction: includes perception data from program faculty, students and parents; program faculty evaluation of students; and student evaluations of program faculty.

**** See also ****

Sarah Geegan, “Gear Up Kentucky Brings Future Wildcats to Campus,” UKnow: University of Kentucky News (11 April 2013)

UK President Welcomes GUK Students to Campus,” (April 18, 2013)

GEARUP KY – Learn@UK Day,” UGE Bluegrass Blade (April 21, 2013)



About UK Student and Academic Life

Undergraduate Education is now recreated within the Division of Student and Academic Life in the Provost's Office at the University of Kentucky.
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