UW System launches new precollege pipeline initiative
MADISON, Wis.—The University of Wisconsin System is launching a new precollege 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 five universities – UW Oshkosh, UW-Parkside, UW-Platteville, UW-Stout, and UW-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 means 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 receives funding will use it to develop and implement precollege 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.”
The University of Wisconsin System serves approximately 165,000 students. Awarding nearly 37,000 degrees annually, the UW System is Wisconsin’s talent pipeline, putting graduates in position to increase their earning power, contribute to their communities, and make Wisconsin a better place to live. Nearly 90 percent of in-state UW System graduates stay in Wisconsin five years after earning a degree. The UW System provides a 23:1 return on state investment. UW System institutions also contribute to the richness of Wisconsin’s culture and economy with groundbreaking research, new companies and patents, and boundless creative intellectual energy.
Mark Pitsch, UW System