Overwhelming Interest in First-Year College Students from the Des Moines Public School System Attending DMACC

Posted 7/7/2020

​New DMACC GEAR UP Iowa Coordinator Hits the Job Running​​

  • A total of 739 GEAR UP students from the Des Moines Public School System are considering attending DMACC in the fall.

  • New DMACC GEAR UP Iowa Coordinator vows to be a resource, advocate, mentor and role model for the first-year college students.

  • A recent survey shows many of the GEAR UP students are feeling ready to begin classes right now.    

Nearly 450 first-year college students from five Des Moines Public Schools have applied to attend DMACC in the fall 2020 term, and another 300 have expressed an interested in attending.

These GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) students from Hoover, North, East, Roosevelt and Lincoln High Schools in Des Moines quickly filled a DMACC one-credit summer class called “The College Experience." 

Newly hired DMACC GEAR UP Iowa Coordinator Tina Akinyi said the College had to actually turn some students away because the online class is over capacity. 

She said students who were not able to register for the summer College Experience class will have an opportunity to enroll in a Fall term section.

“We have multiple guaranteed sections open in the Fall term for Gear Up students," Akinyi said. 

​GEAR UP Iowa is charged with significantly increasing the number of students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. The Iowa College Student Aid Commission administers GEAR UP Iowa in partnership with the Iowa Department of Education and other state agencies, as well as local school districts, postsecondary educational institutions, and community organizations, businesses and industries.

Akinyi said "The College Experience" class acts as a launching pad for students as they prepare to transition to DMACC in the fall.

“In addition to connecting students to faculty, their peers and college resources, the class will also equip students with practical tools and must-knows for every DMACC student," Akinyi said.

She said some of these topics include financial aid, scholarships, programs of study offered at DMACC, transfer options, class registration, time management, academic support, career planning, student activities and more.

"The College Experience" class is held every Tues. and Thur. evening from 6 p.m. to 7:25 p.m. through Aug. 4th.

Akinyi said there would be significantly more sections of the class offered this fall, and that she will continue to assist students from Des Moines Public Schools, as well as students from Perry High School, as they transition into a postsecondary education at DMACC. 

“I will be a resource, advocate, mentor and role model for GEAR UP students as they progress toward an on-time graduation from DMACC," Akinyi said.  

DMACC Community and Global Engagement Director Dr. Ahmed Agyeman said more than 90 GEAR UP students took part in a recent “DMACC Student for a Day" event. He said a follow-up survey of attendees indicated many are feeling ready to begin classes right now.


For more information, contact: Ahmed Agyeman, (515) 964-6271, or​ ​Tina Akinyi, (218) 252-5869​

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