UW System unveils precollege pipeline initiative

Published: Feb. 22, 2021 at 8:38 PM CST
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MENOMONIE, Wis. (WEAU) - The University of Wisconsin System is hoping to reach more high school students in the state. On Feb. 3, the university announced it’s creating a precollege pipeline initiative.

The initiative, which is still in its planning phase, will place coaches and recruiters on five UW campuses, UW-Stout, UW-Parkside, UW-Oshkosh, UW-Whitewater and UW-Platteville.

Glendali Rodriguez, UW-Stout’s interim Provost, said coaches will build relationships with high school students and help them navigate the admissions process.

Though the program will only be housed on five UW campuses, coaches will help students prepare for, apply to and enroll in all 13 UW schools.

“We’re going to make sure they have the tools to understand how to talk about all of the campuses and then in particular, right, we can start to talk about which campuses offer what,” Rodriguez said.

Though the program is still in its infancy, Eau Claire Area School District Executive Director of Teaching and Learning Jim Schmitt said district officials are encouraged by what they’re learning about it.

“Really help facilitate students in that identification of where they want to go to school. And then trying to overcome those barriers such as the applications, the FAFSA and other things to start to transition towards post-secondary learning,” he said.

“It’s another resource for students that are in high schools, and potentially even younger, to start to understand what options they have when they graduate from high school,” Rodriguez said.

She said the program will also target students who are less likely to go to college.

“An area of focus for underrepresented minorities, first-generation student, students that have typically had additional struggles to access the college pipeline and really help increase the pipeline to the UW System,” Rodriguez said.

She said the university hopes to have program details finalized by May so it can formally launch during the summer.

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