DMPS Juniors Participate in “KnowHow2Go to College Week”

Every high school junior in Des Moines Public Schools will participate in a week of college preparation activities during the week of November 8-12 through “KnowHow2Go to College Week,” sponsored by GEAR UP.

Activities include:

  • Alma Mater Day, where all high school teachers and building staff will wear a t-shirt or sweatshirt of their college alma mater and speak with each of their classes about college.
  • Reverse College Visits, where college student volunteers will speak to high school classrooms about their experience with college applications, academics, and campus life.
  • A tutorial on writing a strong essay for college and scholarship applications.
  • Lincoln High School’s College and Career Fair, to be held on Wednesday, November 10.
  • Financial Aid Dinner and Presentation for GEAR UP families on Tuesday, November 9 at Olmstead Center on the Drake University campus.
  • Each high school will offer campus visits for GEAR UP students to schools around Iowa, including AIB College of Business, DMACC, Iowa State University, Mercy College of Health Sciences, University of Iowa, University of Northern Iowa, and Simpson College.

“The ‘KnowHow2Go to College Week’ is a great opportunity for high school teachers, staff, and students to talk about life beyond high school,” said Nancy Wright, GEAR UP Coordinator. “By including our college partners, we create a community of support for these students that will last years beyond their high school diploma.”

This is GEAR UP’s second “KnowHow2Go to College Week.” Last April, over 2,000 DMPS juniors participated in the in-class sessions, 220 students attended the GEAR UP Financial Aid Dinner, and 125 students visited college campuses.

The program is funded through a two-year grant from the Iowa College Access Network and the Lumina Foundation.

GEAR UP, or Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, is a national initiative to significantly increase the number of students who are prepared to succeed in postsecondary education. The GEAR UP Des Moines cohort includes 1,350 eleventh graders and 150 tenth graders in the five comprehensive DMPS high schools and Scavo Alternative High School. Central College’s TRiO programs, including Upward Bound and Educational Talent Search, partner with middle and high schools around the Des Moines area to prepare low-income students for postsecondary education.