Wichita State Kansas Kids @ GEAR UP

Kansas Kids @ GEAR UP is a U.S. Department of Education funded program with Wichita StateUniversity as the administrator of this program. Children in foster care are given top priority for services, while limited income children also qualify for this program.


  1. Each year, at least 80% of KKGU students enrolled in secondary school will be promoted to the next grade level.
  2. Each project year, 70% of participating high school seniors will complete a secondary school diploma, or its recognized equivalent, and 65% will enroll in a postsecondary program.
  3. Each project year, middle and high school participants will show a 20% increase, and their parents a 15%, in knowledge of postsecondary education entrance requirements, application procedures, and costs associated with attendance and types of financial aid.

Academic Year Components

These components augment instruction and activities provided by schools and foster care facilities. Activities include: mentoring activities, counseling, workshops, and campus visits to post-secondary institutions and businesses. Through visits to post-secondary and community institutions, our student’s educational pursuits are reinforced. Student’s progress in instruction, mentoring, and workshops is assessed monthly.


Mentors receive training through the project and partner agencies. Mentors include University students and community volunteers. Through mentoring, students will be able to interact with individuals who support and encourage their educational, career, and personal goals.

College Preparation and Financial Aid Counseling

Postsecondary planning packets with specific instructions on applying for college admission and financial aid are designed for middle and high school students. Parents and students receive technical assistance, one-on-one and in groups, for ACT/SAT preparation and testing, completion of college applications, developing and finalizing essays, and strategies for handling college interviews.

Saturday Programs

The Saturday schedule will vary by region, and will include activities such as college and career field trips. KKGU Staff and volunteers will augment and offer innovative instruction to excite students about education. Special luncheons, banquets and other sessions with guest presenters will be held for the academic and social enrichment of students as well as to recognize their individual and collective achievements.

Cultural Activities

Cultural activities will integrate social and cultural events, allowing students a sense of pride in their own cultural background and an understanding and appreciation for the majority population. These enrichment activities will enhance the student’s social and emotional growth. Students will receive information and updates through the bi-monthly newsletter and website.

Summer Components

Summer activities are designed to keep students involved in academic and enrichment activities, and will vary by region. Students are enrolled in instruction in reading, math, English, computer usage, postsecondary planning, employment opportunities and will receive mentoring. All academic and career instruction is designed to expand the academic and educational advancement of participants and build their skills and confidence levels. Participants in the summer activities are able to keep up with their classmates, advance skills, and progress toward their aspirations. Academic performance is measured and documented through the database. Students are encouraged to apply for participation in federally funded TRiO programs, Health Careers Opportunity programs, and other programs that support their development.