GEAR UP Summer Honors Program set to begin at BHSU

Author: BHSU Communications/Thursday, June 1, 2017/Categories: 2017

High school students from throughout South Dakota are attending the GEAR UP Summer Honors Program at Black Hills State University beginning this month.

South Dakota GEAR UP at Black Hills State University will once again host the annual Summer Honors Program for high school students June 11-30 in Spearfish.

The SD GEAR UP Summer Honors Program is a three-week, residential, pre-college enrichment program designed for students to increase the likelihood that they will enroll and succeed in higher education.

Murray Lee, coordinator of programs for SD GEAR UP at BHSU, said the 100 high school students will take courses in literacy, math, technology, science, American Indian Studies, and college preparation while on campus at BHSU.

"These courses have a high level of academic rigor to prepare the students for high school and college," said Lee. "We also have fun activities planned for the students in the evenings including arts and crafts activities at Matthews Opera House in Spearfish, a presentation by the Black Hills Raptors, visiting the D.C. Booth Fish Hatchery, and evening speakers and that will discuss various topics and career opportunities while offering hands-on activities for the students."

During the final week of the program the students will go to Placerville Camp, an off-campus site near Pactola Lake in the Black Hills, for experiential-based leadership exercises, team-building, and personal development.

The Closing Ceremony for the Summer Honors Program will be held Friday, June 30 at 10:30 a.m. in the Jacket Legacy Room, second floor of the David B. Miller Yellow Jacket Student Union on the BHSU campus in Spearfish.

Lee said the Summer Program reflects the work accomplished by GEAR UP throughout the year including helping over 5,000 students in 29 schools across the state with college readiness. He said GEAR UP partners with student and their families to provide knowledge about what it takes to go to college and how to succeed in higher education.

"During the Summer Program you can see that change in the students where they're understanding that yes, college is actually an option for them," said lee. "We help to raise their own expectations of what they can accomplish academically and into the future."

The SD GEAR UP Program at BHSU is funded by the U.S. Department of Education to the South Dakota Department of Education. The goal of the SD GEAR UP Program is to increase the number of students prepared to graduate from college. SD GEAR UP seeks to accomplish this goal by collaborating with middle and high schools throughout the state including many schools on American Indian Reservations in South Dakota. A specific focus of SD GEAR UP is to increase the number of American Indian students that achieve success at the post-secondary level.

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