Participating in the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha’s pre-college program gave Mario Gonzalez the support system he needed to make important choices about his future.
Throughout high school, Gonzalez participated in the pre-college program, which has served more than 250 middle and high school students over the past year – including many underrepresented students.
“I know that if it wasn’t for the program, the process of going into college would have been confusing,” said Gonzalez, now a UW-Waukesha freshman. “With the program, I learned the ins and outs of college life, from choosing a major to applying for FASFA and scholarships. The program gave me a great sense of prep for college. I am happy to have been part of the program now because it has paid off presently.”
UW-Waukesha’s pre-college program aims to promote the success of students through programming focused on higher education and post-secondary options. Students can participate in college prep, which provides after-school programming throughout the school year. In June, middle school students attend the one-week university camp, while high school students are part of the two-week college bound program.
Cassy Torres joined college prep as a junior. She said she learned about resume writing, scholarship opportunities, career options and more. “If you didn’t know how to do your homework, they would show you,” said Torres, a UW-Waukesha sophomore. “And the field trips are fun.”
Guest speakers from the campus and community offer students insight into different professions and reinforce core subject areas. Students participate in volunteer activities, shadow professionals, and tour local colleges. In 2010-11, 100% of students who participated in the pre-college program indicated they desired to continue on to a technical college, two-year community college, or a four-year college.
Diana Schreck, a UW-Waukesha sophomore who serves as a mentor in the pre-college program, said she helps students not just with their schoolwork but also with difficult decisions about their lives.
“There are a lot of personal problems,” she said, “and I like to help them know what they can do and show them their potential.”
Students can take advantage of the UW Colleges Guaranteed Transfer Program, which ensures admission to the UW four-year campus of their choice including UW-Madison. For more information, visit waukesha.uwc.edu. For information about pre-college programs, call 262-521-5201.