Summer Program Helps Students Stay on Track to Graduate

Ninety-nine students from GEAR UP Iowa and Des Moines Public Schools are experiencing life on a college campus while completing classes they need to stay on track for graduation. The 3-week program, held at Grandview University, is helping the students meet their high school academic credit requirements. 

This first-of-its-kind opportunity was made possible through a partnership between GEAR UP Iowa, Des Moines Public Schools, Des Moines Public Schools GEAR UP, and Grandview University.  Students are completing the summer program tomorrow.

“The goal of GEAR UP Iowa is to provide the resources and inspiration to instill a college-going culture among students as they make their way through high school,” says Karen Misjak, executive director of Iowa College Aid, the state agency charged with administering the statewide GEAR UP Iowa Grant.  “By spending three weeks of their summer focusing on credit recovery, these students are taking responsibility for their future while experiencing a college campus environment.”

“Des Moines Public Schools offers students who need a little extra help a variety of options to get the credits needed to graduate, and this new effort to bring high school students onto a college campus is an added benefit for those students,” explained Nancy Wright, GEAR UP coordinator for Des Moines Public Schools. “Providing students with credit recovery support pays off, and was one factor that contributed to the significant increase in our graduation rate in Des Moines.”

“We are grateful that Grandview University is such a terrific partner with our school district and generously donated free classroom space to make this new summer school program a reality,” added Wright.

Students have responded very positively to the program. Some, who in the past felt they couldn’t catch up, now realize that the path to high school graduation is possible.

To learn about the summer credit recovery program, please contact Nancy Wright with the Des Moines Public Schools GEAR UP at or John Gilman with GEAR UP Iowa at