Preparing Students for the Future
From UW Richland
Classroom science lessons came to life on the Pine River as 2011 University of Wisconsin-Richland Precollege Program students took on the
physical and mental challenges of kayaking. Their active-learning pioneer course brought history lessons to life. Games for Life presented yet
another set of challenges to help students develop important skills including team work and communication. College Survival Skills helps prepare
them to reach the ultimate goal of the program—getting into and succeeding in college.
Residential summer week, held June 27 – July 1 on the UW-Richland campus, aims to help students learn more about themselves, each other, their
potential and how to realize it. Urban and small town/rural students, study, eat, and socialize together, spending their nights in Campus View student
housing and their days engaged in classes and activities. The goal is to help students who will be the first in their family to earn a college degree
feel comfortable on a college campus and understand college culture and expectations.
Students join the UW-Richland Precollege Program when they are middle school students, most during the summer after 6th grade. In addition to the
summer week on campus, activities to connect and support them are scheduled throughout the year. They’re encouraged to continue in the
Precollege Program through their high school years.
Philly Denis, UW-Richland director of Continuing Education and the Precollege Program director for 11 of the past 16 consecutive years of the
program noted a major success. “Several Precollege alumni are planning to attend UW-Richland this fall, some of them with the help of
scholarships from the UW-Richland Scholarship Program,” he said. “The 2011 Precollege Program was the largest we’ve seen in terms of high
For Morgan Goodyear, a Richland Middle School student from Richland Center, the 2011summer week was her introduction to the program. “I really
liked the activity choices,” she said. “My Pioneers class was a lot of fun. There was a lot of laughing. We built a (model) log cabin and learned how
they were and what they looked like.” Morgan’s new friend, Jaelyn Crawley, who will be a high school freshman in Milwaukee in the fall, was
returning for her second year with the program. Her brother, too, is continuing in the program. “We have a lot of fun—like bowling and swimming,”
Both Goodyear and Crawley said they especially enjoyed sharing time together in student housing. It’s time to form friendships and talk about the
future. Crawley, who loves to sing and dance, aspires to study and have a career in the performing arts. Goodyear hasn’t defined her plans, though
she’s considering her options.
They talk over each other and have similar answers to a question on what their parents think. Both say that their families want them to do well.
“They want us to go to college,” the pair said.
Both young women are planning to continue participation in Precollege and said that they hope to take on more responsibility, to be assistants in the
program, mentoring younger students in the coming years.
That attitude of enthusiasm and support is one Denis finds common. “We see a strong level of retention with our staff. Many have returned for six or
seven years. They’re dedicated. They really care,” he said.
Looking ahead, Denis is excited about pursuing the goal of further, strong, on-going contacts and activities with students throughout the year as
well as continuing to develop relationships with Milwaukee and southwest Wisconsin middle school and high school partners.
For more information about the UW-Richland Precollege Program, visit the campus website at: http://www.richland.uwc.edu/ce/summer.asp or call
the Continuing Education Office at (608) 647-6186, Extension 227.