Bloomsburg University Receives Grant for GEAR UP Program

For Immediate Release

Date: Feb. 19, 2020

Contact: Tom McGuire, Director of Communications

Bloomsburg University Receives Grant for GEAR UP Program

BLOOMSBURG—Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania was one of five Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) institutions selected to receive a $117,161 grant to hold a GEAR UP summer bridge program in July 2020. 

GEAR UP, which stands for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, is a discretionary grant program designed to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. Through a partnership between PASSHE and three selected school districts (Allentown, Harrisburg, and Norristown), 30 graduating high school students will be attending a program this summer designed to prepare them for the rigors of college. 

For three weeks, students will receive an in-depth orientation to college life, resources available, academic advising, coursework, and support. Also, training in soft skills while building a strong social network with peer mentors, faculty, and the local community.  There will also be a field trip to meet BU alumni in Philadelphia to discuss career fields, a chance to hear a motivational speaker, as well as take part in “Hands-On Fridays.”

The program, entitled “Stranger Things: Don’t Get Stuck in the Upside-Down,” will play on the television theme to encourage the students to leave their old high school lives behind as they prepare for their new experiences as college students. Peer mentors and faculty interactions will continue throughout their first year at college to ensure that even after the summer, the students have the support needed to succeed. 

The summer bridge program will run from Sunday, July 12 to Friday, July 31.  For more information, contact Kimberly Bolig, Director of Educational Preparation and Training Programs (



Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 8,200 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in five distinct colleges: College of Education, Zeigler College of Business, College of Liberal Arts, College of Science and Technology, and new Honors College.