Concord University to host “GEAR UP Kickoff” for area seventh graders on April 2

More than 450 seventh graders will have the opportunity to learn about life on a college campus during Concord University’s “GEAR UP” Kickoff event to be held April 2 from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. GEAR UP stands for “Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs.” The project, which is coordinated by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (Commission), helps students in ten West Virginia counties prepare to enter and succeed in higher education and skillset training programs.

Students from Collins Middle School and Meadow Bridge High School in Fayette County; Montcalm High School in Mercer County; Gilbert Middle School in Mingo County; and Glen Fork PK-8, Herndon Consolidated Elementary and Middle School, Mullens Middle School and Pineville Middle School in Wyoming County will attend the GEAR UP Kickoff.

During the event, students will tour campus, participate in workshops to help them set goals and understand career options and learn about the importance of avoiding drug and alcohol abuse. Members of the Drug Free All-Stars basketball team will provide information about making healthy lifestyle choices and take on members of Concord University’s coaching staff in an exhibition basketball game.

Concord University is one of three college partners working on the Commission’s GEAR UP project. The West Virginia GEAR UP program began in 2008. Funding for the program was renewed this past fall, allowing the Commission to provide extensive college and career readiness services to this year’s seventh grade class from now through the first year of postsecondary education. To learn more about West Virginia GEAR UP and view a list of scheduled activities and events, visit