The West Virginia GEAR UP Access and Success Advisory Council began with the initiation of the first Federal West Virginia GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) grant in 2008. GEAR UP is a federally funded program designed to provide support and resources to low-income students to help them prepare for and succeed in postsecondary education.

In 2008, West Virginia received its inaugural GEAR UP grant, marking the beginning of a comprehensive effort to enhance educational opportunities for students across the state. The establishment of the West Virginia GEAR UP Access and Success Advisory Council was a pivotal development within this initiative. The Council was conceived as a body that would contribute valuable insights and guidance to ensure the success and accessibility of GEAR UP programs in the state.

Over the years, the Advisory Council has evolved into a 16-member body composed of individuals with diverse expertise and a shared commitment to advancing educational opportunities for West Virginia students. The Council’s membership includes representatives from each of the counties being served and stakeholders invested in the success of GEAR UP initiatives.

The primary focus of the Advisory Council is to provide strategic input, recommendations, and oversight to enhance the effectiveness of the GEAR UP program¬† and student success efforts in West Virginia. This includes addressing challenges, identifying opportunities for improvement, and ensuring that the GEAR UP initiatives align with the educational needs of the state’s students.