Helping More Students Rise: UW-Green Bay’s Rising Phoenix Program Expands with Statewide Cohort

Program provides pathways to higher education for high school students

Green BAY, Wis.—The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s Rising Phoenix Early College High School Program is growing through continued partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s GEAR UP program. GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) is a federal grant program focused on low-income and first-generation students obtaining a high school diploma and preparing them for success in postsecondary education. Students meeting GEAR UP eligibility criteria who attend a GEAR UP Rising Phoenix participating school are eligible to apply.

GEAR UP Rising Phoenix is the fourth Rising Phoenix partnership and is modeled after an inaugural program developed with the Manitowoc Public School District that launched in Fall 2020.

Now, current sophomores in five GEAR UP target districts (Ashland, Shawano, Wausau, Green Bay and Milwaukee) will also have the opportunity to apply for the Rising Phoenix Program for enrollment during their junior and senior years of high school. When admitted to the program, students will be concurrently enrolled at their high school and UW-Green Bay. All costs for the program will be covered by Wisconsin GEAR UP grant funding. There is no cost to students or school districts.

Rising Phoenix courses are selected to meet Wisconsin high school graduation requirements and the UW-Green Bay Associate of Arts and Sciences (AAS) degree. Courses will be offered in multiple modalities including online and in-person, providing students flexible options to take courses and participate in extra-curricular activities at the high school and on the university campus, depending on their proximity to a UW-Green Bay campus. Students are able to continue taking other dual credit options available in their high school, which allow students to experience college coursework in the familiar environment of their high school, learning alongside other college students at a college campus.

Rising Phoenix will be hosting virtual sessions at this Zoom link for students and families to learn more about the no-cost GEAR UP opportunity available to students in Ashland, Shawano, Wausau, Green Bay and Milwaukee target high schools. There will also be time to ask questions and learn more about the many options available to students.

  • Tuesday, May 18, 6 p.m
  • Monday, May 24, 6 p.m.
  • Thursday, May 27, 6 p.m.

The goal for participating students is to earn both their high school diploma and get a significant head start on their college degree. Students enrolling in the program will have the opportunity to earn an AAS degree by the time they graduate from high school. Students who complete an AAS degree will have the first two years of a bachelor’s degree completed. The accomplishment will apply whether students decide to continue at UW-Green Bay, transfer to a different college or university or enter the workforce upon graduation with an earned college credential.

Rising Phoenix Early College High School is a groundbreaking collaboration between school districts and UW-Green Bay, providing students in the program with dual enrollment, ongoing student success coaching and the opportunity to earn a high school diploma and their Associate of Arts and Sciences degree. Rising Phoenix was created with the goals of reducing college debt, closing the achievement gap and providing advanced learning opportunities for students in the state of Wisconsin. It also exemplifies UW-Green Bay’s commitment to working with our K-12 partners to invest in the growth of our region by increasing student access to higher education.

“The GEAR UP Rising Phoenix Early College High School Program embodies UW-Green Bay’s commitment to equity and access to higher education,” said UW-Green Bay Chancellor Michael Alexander. “As an access institution, UW-Green Bay is working diligently to provide pathways to higher education and ensuring students have access to resources across our four campuses. UW-Green Bay’s partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s GEAR UP program allows us to meet our mission to serve our community and state.”

The primary advantages to students who participate are student support and coaching. Every student enrolled will work consistently with UW-Green Bay’s Rising Phoenix Student Success Coach, who will:

  • Assist students through the admissions process
  • Facilitate academic advising
  • Provide social and emotional support
  • Serve as a transition specialist upon graduation (college applications, scholarships, FAFSA and financial aid assistance).

In addition, DPI GEAR UP Education Specialists will provide in-depth services in the areas of mentorship and college and career readiness.

To learn more about the program, visit the Rising Phoenix website at

About the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
Established in 1965, UW-Green Bay is a public institution serving 8,970 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students and 79,604 continuing education enrollees each year across all campus locations. We educate students from pre-college through retirement and offer 200+ degrees, programs and certificates. UW-Green Bay graduates are resilient, inclusive, sustaining and engaged members of their communities, ready to rise to fearlessly face challenges, solve problems and embrace diverse ideas and people. With four campus locations, the University welcomes students from every corner of the world. In 2020, UW-Green Bay was the fastest growing UW school in Wisconsin. For more information, visit

About UW-Green Bay’s Division of Continuing Education and Community Engagement
The Division of Continuing Education and Community Engagement focuses its mission on creating educational opportunity and access for all ages, encompassing K-12 student programs, personal and professional development and customized training to meet the needs of a progressive economy. The division develops, collaborates and executes responsive solutions for diverse communities statewide, all of which reflect a deep commitment to inclusion, social justice and civic responsibility. For more information, visit:

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s Wisconsin Educational Opportunity Program (WEOP) named UW-Green Bay as the higher education partner for Wisconsin GEAR UP to provide students enrolled in the program with opportunities for dual credit and additional educational programming, including STEM-related events and after-school programming, summer programs, and digital badging in college readiness skills. These UW-Green Bay services assist WEOP in meeting GEAR UP objectives including:

  1. Increase students’ academic performance and preparation for post-secondary enrollment
  2. Increase students’ high school graduation rates and enrollment in post-secondary education rates without the need for remediation
  3. Increase students’ and families’ knowledge of post-secondary education options, preparation and financing


You may also like...