• students climbing an indoor wall

    Upward Bound Kalamazoo

    Prepare for higher education through instruction in literature, composition, mathematics and science on college campuses after school, on Saturdays and during the summer.

  • Students watching a WMU admissions presentation

    Michigan GEAR UP

    Discover first-hand the potential of a college education and get exposure to the information, knowledge and skills you need to complete high school and prepare yourself adequately for college entry and success.

  • Students investigating how water moves through sand on a water/sand table


    The Academically Talented Youth Program is an advanced and accelerated educational opportunity for academically talented middle and high school students providing a challenging, fast-paced and above-grade-level curriculum.

  • Upward Bound students posing on a trip

    Upward Bound Van Buren

    Prepare for higher education through instruction in literature, composition, mathematics and science on college campuses after school, on Saturdays and during the summer.

Creating pathways for future Broncos

The Office of Precollege Programming centralizes a number of key, long-standing programs at Western Michigan University and is comprised of the Academically Talented Youth Program (ATYP), Michigan’s Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (MI GEAR UP), and Upward Bound. The office provides comprehensive and inclusive youth outreach services throughout Southwest Michigan.

The office provides leadership and direction, especially in regard to minors on campus policies and procedures, for individuals, programs and units at Western Michigan University involved in outreach with precollege students while at the same time serving as a campus wide resource and area of support.

A key objective for the office is to leverage internal and external resources to maximize the engagement and enrollment of precollege students while modeling best practices in the field of college access.



  • Welcome to the new Pre-College Coordinator and Upward Bound Administrator, Gracie Coston.

    We are pleased to welcome Gracie Coston to the Office of Pre-College Programming as the Pre-College Coordinator and Upward Bound Administrative Assistant. If you see her around campus, give her a warm welcome!

  • 2024 Summer Camp Listing

    This summer, Western Michigan University offers a wide variety of camps geared toward students of all ages. Our camps range from academic to sports, with a little bit of everything in between. Camps vary in cost based on requirements. Some camps will offer scholarships; see their website for details. Check out all the camps that are available!

  • AT&T donates $60,000 to Kalamazoo organizations to combat digital divide

    According to WWMT.com, three Kalamazoo area organizations received a total of $60,000 in AT&T contributions to help expand internet access to those who need it.

    Kalamazoo Gospel Ministries, Western Michigan University, and Portage Community Center each received a $20,000 check to help with the digital divide, according to a news release.

    “Too many Michiganders face challenges in live due to digital divide barriers, particularly those in underserved communities," Tim Weststrate with AT&T Michigan said. "Not only access to connectivity is vital to bridging the digital divide, but it is also critical in success in both the classroom and workplace."

    For Western in particular, the funds are expected to support its 24/7 online tutoring program, according to AVP for Enrollment, Dr. Charles Cotton.

  • 2024 Summer Camps Reminders Memo

    This memorandum is to remind all faculty and staff who conduct youth outreach programs of WMU’s Policy requirements for summer camps, and to encourage programs to register their camps as soon as possible, preferably no later January 31, 2024. Though if you do not make this date, please still register your summer program as soon as you are able.  WMU’s Minor on Campus Policy requires all outreach programs (including summer camps) with youth to register through our Pre-College Office.  Additionally, the office of Pre-College Programming is sharing this memo as one of our many commitments – to ensure we support and inform all members of our WMU community.  If we can assist you with anything, please do not hesitate to reach out.  Keep the following in mind re: WMU’s Minors on Campus Policy:

    1)    Register your youth outreach program through the Office of Pre-College Programming’s websiteWMU’s Minors on Campus Policy requires ALL programs to review their information annually through this website and update, as necessary.   

    2)    Please also enter your summer camp information on the Summer Camp Listing site. For marketing and communication purposes, we need to get your updated camp information (including camp dates) as soon as possible, preferably by January 31, 2024.  We advertise all summer camp opportunities to the community on one web page. Once you update your summer camp information via the above link, we will update your 2024 summer camp information for the community website. If you miss the January 31 deadline, you are still required to register your camp as soon as possible.  In addition to marketing, it is also important to register your camp early to ensure appropriate insurance coverage is obtained.  WMU Summer Camp Opportunities can be found at wmich.edu/precollege/summer

    3)    If your camp has housing needs, please contact Brett Strohkirch, Assistant Director of Residence Life, at brett.strohkirch@wmich.edu

    4)    Review the updated Minors on Campus Policy approved by the Board of Trustees in April 2018 (and renewed in 2022) at https://wmich.edu/policies/minors

    5)    Ensure that your youth outreach programs’ employees have received appropriate training, including but not limited to instruction on the Minors on Campus Policy and expectations. The Office of Pre-College Programming provides this training, which can be scheduled upon request.   

    6)    Work with the appropriate Human Resource representative to complete background checks for all new staff working with minors and updated background checks every three years for all returning faculty, staff, student staff, and volunteers who work with minors. Faculty and staff with a WMU employment gap of 6 months or longer also need an updated background check upon rehire, even if it has been less than three years since their initial background check. Review this helpful flowchart and § 4.5.1 of the Minors on Campus Policy to determine which individuals need a background check, when, and how often. 

    7)    Create an “event” in Salesforce to track and log your youth outreach event.  Submit names and contact information for all youth participating within the pre-college program by emailing list of participants to EM Tech (Enrollment Management Technology) to be uploaded into the Target X Salesforce System.  Attached is Salesforce PowerPoint that Sarah Cheatham created just for Pre-College Programs.  The overall PowerPoint is helpful in acclimating to the CRM. Don’t miss steps on how to create an event (starting on slide 15).  The person coordinating your youth outreach event should create the Event in Salesforce, then email EM-Tech with each program participant’s name (full name with middle initial, if available), birthdate (if you're able), elementary/middle/high school, high school graduation year, email address, and parent email address(es). Those fields are especially helpful, but include additional information if you have it. If you need guidance or assistance with creating an event or submitting names, you can contact Sarah Cheatham at sarah.cheatham@wmich.edu, or feel free to ask our office to assist – feel free to reach out to either myself directly or Kala Willette at kala.willette@wmich.edu

    8)    Our Pre-College website has many great resources, such as sample consent forms and checklists for creating a youth outreach program.  

    For more information on in-person summer camps or any of the processes outlined above, please contact the Office of Pre-College Programming at 269-387-2773 or via email at erika.carr@wmich.edu. Additional information on youth outreach, including sample required forms for summer camps, is available on the website. Thank you for your time; I appreciate your continued support of pre-college youth outreach. 


    Dr. Erika Carr, Director, Office of Pre-College Programming