Rising Phoenix

Early College High School Program 

A New Kind of College Prep

The Rising Phoenix Early College High School Program is an innovative collaboration between GEAR UP Target School Districts, DPI WEOP, and the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay to provide high school students an opportunity to get a head start on college. Eligible students from the Wisconsin GEAR UP target high schools below will be admitted to the Rising Phoenix Early College High School Program to be enrolled during their junior and senior years.
Rising Phoenix text GEAR UP Logo

Ashland High School

Bayfield High School 

Shawano Community High School

Green Bay Area Public Schools:

Green Bay Preble High School
Green Bay East High School
Green Bay Southwest High School

Wausau School District
Wausau East High School
Wausau West High School

Sheboygan Area School District
George D. Warriner High School
Sheboygan North High School
Sheboygan South High School

Milwaukee Public Schools:
Barack Obama School of Career and Technical Education
Bradley Tech High School
Hamilton High School
Milwaukee School of Arts
Riverside University High School
South Division High School
Washington High School of Information Technology

A group of students will have an opportunity to earn their high school diploma and a two-year Associate of Arts and Sciences (AAS) degree upon high school graduation by dually enrolling in college credit courses at their high school, virtually through UW-Green Bay, and/or on one of our 4 UW-Green Bay campuses, depending on their distance from a campus location.  There will be no cost to students, families or school districts as all program costs will be covered by the GEAR UP Grant. Students must meet GEAR UP and Rising Phoenix Program admissions requirements to enroll. The program will also offer educational opportunities and services through DPI WEOP and UW-Green Bay’s GEAR UP programming that will support student learning, growth and preparation for post-secondary success.

Student standing by Lake Michigan

About the Degree

An Associate of Arts and Sciences (AAS) degree requires students to complete 60 college credits that include general education courses and an area of emphasis. With an AAS degree, you have essentially completed the first two years of a bachelor’s degree! You can either continue with UW-Green Bay or transfer to another 4-year college or university where your general education requirements will likely be completed. Students are also able to jump right into the workforce with an AAS degree.

Attend an Upcoming Information Session to Learn More!

Attending an information session is the best way to learn more about GEAR UP and the Rising Phoenix Program and to get all of your questions answered LIVE! Our goal for these sessions is to share how the program works, discuss the support available, and share the benefits of the program to ensure that it is a fit for the student and their family.  We strongly encourage students, parents/guardians, and staff from the schools where Rising Phoenix is offered to attend an information session.

VIRTUAL Information Sessions

Date:  Monday, February 13, 2023
Time:  6:00pm
Zoom Link:
Session Concluded

Date:  Thursday, February 23, 2023
Time:  7:00pm
Zoom Link:
Session Concluded
***View Past Recording

IN-PERSON Information Sessions

We are currently scheduling school day information sessions for sophomores at GEAR UP Rising Phoenix High Schools that request them. If you do not see your school listed below, please continue to check back OR plan to attend one of the above virtual options, where the same information will be shared. 




**Please contact your school counselor for room location
Tuesday, February 7, 2023 9:35 - 10:10am Shawano High School 
Tuesday, February 7, 2023 10:40 - 11:10am Green Bay Preble High School AVID
Tuesday, February 7, 2023 2:12 - 2:45pm Green Bay Southwest High School AVID 
Thursday, February 16, 2023 9:45 - 10:15am Sheboygan North High School
Friday, February 17, 2023 9:45 -10:45am Sheboygan Warriner High School
Friday, February 17, 2023 11:15am - 12:15pm Sheboygan South High School
Tuesday, February 21, 2023 2:30 - 3:30pm Ashland High School
Wednesday, February 22, 2023 9:00 - 10:00am Bayfield High School
Wednesday, February 22, 2023 9:00 - 10:30am MPS Bradley Tech High School
Wednesday, February 22, 2023 2:12 - 3:00pm Green Bay West High School AVID
Wednesday, March 1, 2023 7:45 - 8:15am Wausau West High School
Wednesday, March 1, 2023 2:30 - 3:00pm Wausau East High School

Student Benefits
  • There will be no cost to students, families or the district as the costs will be covered by the Wisconsin State GEAR UP Grant.
  • Every student will work individually and consistently with a UWGB Student Success Coach, who will provide intensive and personalized support every step of the way.  In addition, students will receive college and career exploration support services from their DPI WEOP Education Specialist.
  • Flexible class schedules will be developed in order to fit individual student needs, allowing for students to continue to engage in extracurricular activities.
  • Accessible course options mean students can learn from anywhere. Earning an AAS degree online is possible through our Dual Enrollment Access Academy Program.  Students who reside near one of our 4 UW-Green Bay campuses may also opt to take courses on campus.
  • Students will have the opportunity to learn together, taking their Tools for College Success course, as well as others, together.
  • ​UW-Green Bay’s Student Accessibility Services team will help students with a documented disability (IEP, 504), with academic accommodations.
  • Students will graduate with their high school diploma and the opportunity to earn an Associate of Arts and Sciences Degree (60 credits), giving them a significant head start on their postsecondary education and career.

Student Schedule Example

A student’s schedule may include a manageable blend of courses at their high school, on-campus, and/or virtually through UW-Green Bay, depending on their distance from campus locations and the college courses offered within their high school.

Legend: Gray = Course taken at high school;  Green = time dedicated to work on online college courses.
Time Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
WF 100: First Year Writing | NUT SCI 242: Food & Nutritional Health | ANTHRO 100: Varieties of World Culture
2nd Hour
9:15-10:15 a.m.
Algebra 2 Algebra 2 Algebra 2 Algebra 2 Algebra 2
3rd Hour
10:30-11:30 a.m.
Band Band Band Band Band
WF 100: First Year Writing | NUT SCI 242: Food & Nutritional Health | ANTHRO 100: Varieties of World Culture

Cost Savings Info

The cost of the program will be covered by the GEAR UP Grant. There no will be no cost to students, families or school districts.
Estimated Cost SAVINGS for Families*
Per Semester (15 College Credits) Up to $4,337
Completion of Associate of Arts & Sciences Degree
60 College Credits)
Up to $17,348

* Savings based on UW-Green Bay tuition rates found at:  https://www.uwgb.edu/student-billing/tuition-fees/.


Woman on the beach with a laptop


The admissions process begins in winter and rolls out with a cohort of high school juniors in fall through their projected graduation in spring two years later. Students apply as sophomores and are enrolled in the program as juniors and seniors.
Male student
Why College-Ready Matters?

The skills and knowledge students need to be admitted to college are the same ones they need to succeed at a job. Being college-ready means students are ready to do well in a four-year university, a two-year college, an apprenticeship or a job.

Eligibility Requirements

UW-Green Bay will facilitate a holistic admissions process, assessing students individually based on academic and personal backgrounds. We are looking for students who have shown the maturity, academic readiness, and a genuine desire to succeed in college.

Students must meet the following requirements:

  • Currently enrolled in 10th Grade in a GEAR UP target high school  
  • ONE of the following:
    • First generation college student (parents/guardians do not have a bachelor's degree)
    • Eligible for free or reduced meals in school
    • Racial or ethnic minority
  • US citizen or permanent resident (a GEAR UP requirement) 
  • 3.0 cumulative GPA or above.  If student has a 2.75-2.99 GPA, they may be considered; essay responses addressing the GPA and teacher recommendations speaking to GPA will be critical.
  • Strong high school attendance record
  • Desire to go to college

Priority Application Deadline for Fall 2024:
WE MAY CONSIDER LATE APPLICATIONS.  Please reach out to us at gearup@uwgb.edu to discuss.
Applications completed after deadline will be considered for the waitlist with high probability of admission, if eligible.

Application Steps

Student Application & Essay

The GEAR UP Rising Phoenix Application includes both an application to the GEAR UP Precollege Program AND to UW-Green Bay's Rising Phoenix Program. The application consists of short answer responses (online), as well as an essay.  The essay instructions and questions are outlined at this link.  Please note, the essay must be uploaded in PDF format within the application portal below, so it would be ideal to complete the essay first and then proceed into the application below.

 Teacher Recommendations

Two recommendations are required, one from a teacher in a core subject area (math, English, science, or social studies) and a second from a teacher, school counselor, or principal/administrator. Recommendations may be submitted online. Students may share the link with the teachers for ease of access.

Student Transcripts & Attendance Record

Student's high school transcript and attendance records are required and will be reviewed as part of the holistic admissions review process.  Students may upload these documents into the application portal above OR documents may be emailed to: gearup@uwgb.edu.  


Students will be notified of admission status in early April 2024. Advising and registration sessions, which will include the student, school counselor, success coach, and DPI Education Specialist, will take place in April and May, 2024.  Orientation will take place in August 2024 and students will begin the program/their college classes in early September 2024.

***The class of 2026's GEAR UP Rising Phoenix Cohort will start the program in Fall 2024.


***WE MAY CONSIDER LATE APPLICATIONS.  Please reach out to us at gearup@uwgb.edu to discuss. If we are no longer accepting applications, those completed after the deadline will be considered for the waitlist with the possibility of admission, if eligible.

Questions? Contact Us!

Image of Aubrey

Aubrey Schramm

Executive Director, Early College Programs
Call/Text:  (920) 412-6649
Email. gearup@uwgb.edu