Rising Phoenix

Rising Phoenix text

Early College High School Program GEAR UP Logo


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.

Ashland High School

Shawano Community High School

Green Bay Area Public Schools:

Green Bay Preble High School
Green Bay East High School
Green Bay West 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, on-campus, and/or virtually through UW-Green Bay, depending on their distance from campus locations and high school offerings.  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.

Female student sitting outside studying
Positive Effects of Early College

Research shows that students who enroll in early college or dual credit have improved postsecondary persistence and a higher rate of degree or credential completion.

Virtual Information Sessions
Attending a virtual information session is the best way to learn more about GEAR UP and the Rising Phoenix Program and to get all 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. 

Virtual Information Session #1 (Concluded)

Date: Tuesday, February 8, 2022
Time:  6 p.m. 
View Recording

Virtual Information Session #2 (Concluded)

Date: Wednesday, February 23, 2022
Time:  6 p.m. 

Student Benefits
  • Every student will work individually and consistently with a UWGB Student Success Coach, DPI WEOP Education Specialist, and School Counselor. The support team will assist students throughout the program admissions process, advising, providing academic and social support and serving as a transition specialist upon graduation.

  • There will be no cost to students, families or the district as the costs will be covered by the Wisconsin State GEAR UP Grant.

  • 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 will have the opportunity to learn together, taking their First Year Experience course and other courses, together, if desired.

  • ​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 college degree.

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.

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.

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 high school offerings.

Legend: Gray = Courses taken at high school; Green = time dedicated to work on virtual 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 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.

Application Process 

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 grit needed to succeed in college.

Students must meet GEAR UP and Rising Phoenix admissions criteria to apply:

  • 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 and teacher recommendations critical.
  • Strong attendance record
  • Desire to go to college

Ongoing Student Support

The Student Success Coach and school counselors will work with Rising Phoenix students to develop course schedules that allow them to fulfill the objectives of dual enrollment and also pursue their interests.

Students will have ongoing support every step of the way!



Application Steps

1.  Student Application & Essay

The GEAR UP Rising Phoenix Application and Essay includes both an application to the GEAR UP Precollege Program and to UW-Green Bay's Rising Phoenix Opportunity. Students should ensure all components are completed in full, including the essay responses.  Email completed application to gearup@uwgb.edu.  Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis after priority application date, based on space availability.  **Sample application essay responses may be viewed at this link.


2. Teacher Recommendations

Two recommendations are required; at least one from a teacher in a core subject area. 

 3.High School Transcript

School counselor emails student's high school transcript to gearup@uwgb.edu.  

4. Admissions

Students will be notified of admission decision in early April and will be walked through next steps. 

***The class of 2024's GEAR UP Rising Phoenix Cohort will start the program in Fall 2022.


Questions? Contact Us!

Image of Aubrey

Aubrey Schramm

Executive Manager, GEAR UP Services
Call/Text:  (920) 412-6649
Email. gearup@uwgb.edu