News Releases

Nearly 300 high school students on campus for SD GEARUP honors program
Release Date Friday, May 30, 2014

RAPID CITY, S.D. (May 30, 2014) – The South Dakota GEARUP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) honors program is returning to the School of Mines campus for the 22nd year. The six-week residential program will be held May 31 through July 14 and provides a rigorous curriculum in a college setting to increase Native American and low-income student graduation rates from high school and acceptance into post-secondary educational institutions.

Nearly 295 high school students will participate in the SD GEARUP program. About 60 percent of the students are female, while 85 percent are Native Americans. Students represent all nine tribes in South Dakota: Cheyenne River, Crow Creek, Flandreau-Santee, Lower Brule, Oglala, Rosebud, Sisseton-Wahpeton, Standing Rock and Yankton. Students are selected based on academic achievement and teacher recommendations. Of those students who graduate from the program, virtually 100 percent will also graduate from high school, 85 percent will attend college and 7 percent will enter the military. Of those who go on to college, most will be first-generation college students.

The GEARUP curriculum at the School of Mines will include math (algebra, trigonometry, pre-calculus and college algebra), science (physical science, biology, chemistry and physics), English, computers and life skills (goal setting, leadership, study skills, personal finance and college preparation). Students will also participate in field trips, recreation and sports, college visits and cultural activities. A middle school component will involve students and their parents touring campus and learning about the programs available at Mines.

Much of the funding for the program comes from a federal GEARUP grant through the State of South Dakota Department of Education, operated through the Oceti Sakowin Education Consortium and 24 partner schools across the state.

For further information and opportunities for involvement, contact Carter Kerk at (605) 394-1295 or, or Travis Kowalski at (605) 394-6146 or


About SDSM&T

Founded in 1885, the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology is a science and engineering research university located in Rapid City, S.D., offering bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. The university enrolls more than 2,400 students from 32 countries, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 14:1. The average starting salary for 2012 graduates was $62,400 with a 98 percent placement rate. Find us online at, on Facebook at and on Twitter at