(Metro Wire photo)

UW System launched ‘pre-college pipeline initiative’ for high school students

Metro Wire Staff

The University of Wisconsin System is launching a new pre-college pipeline initiative to help guide high school students in preparing for, applying to, and enrolling in one of its 13 universities.

The initiative involves placing student coaches and recruiters in a select number of regional high schools. The initial investment of $1 million will be equally divided among UW universities in Oshkosh, Parkside, Platteville, Stout, Whitewater.

“Our partnerships with high schools and community groups across the state will help more students prepare for and succeed at our universities, and more graduates mean more talent for Wisconsin’s workforce,” said UW System President Tommy Thompson.

In addition to raising the profile of UW institutions across the state, this effort is intended to create a more robust pipeline to the UW System by engaging students earlier in the college-going process and providing additional hands-on support, including for students who may be the first in their families to pursue a university education. Strong partnerships between UW universities and local high schools, their high school counselors, and community organizations that serve young people will be a hallmark of this important effort.

Each of the universities that receive funding will use it to develop and implement pre-college activities and programs that best serve the needs of the students in their respective areas.

UW-Stout, for example, will place career coaches in designated high schools and community organizations to focus on helping students identify their career interests early and define a pathway into the appropriate academic program that supports their longer-term professional goals. UW-Stout has further partnered with UW-Stevens Point on its proposal. UW-Parkside will place “College Navigators” in local high schools as well as bring on “Student Ambassadors” to help prospective students.

Funding will pay for approximately 15 additional counselors who will work with about 25 high schools and community groups, in addition to the existing outreach performed by UW System universities.

This effort is part of a series of strategic investments the University of Wisconsin System has made in recent months to help more students get into college, persist, and graduate. In November, the UW System announced the establishment of the Wisconsin Regents Opportunity Scholarship, which will provide up to $10,000 for underrepresented and underserved students at key points during their university education.

“UW System is doing everything it can to help students,” Thompson said. “These initiatives are just a few ways we’re working to ensure student success.”