Director of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s American Intercultural Center Justin Mallett, Ph.D., knows the statistics, and he has lived them.
Students — especially minority students — who have dedicated resources and relational opportunities as they transition into college, have a much better chance at college success. For this reason, UW-Green Bay’s American Intercultural Center (AIC) personnel have high hopes for its Jump Start program in its second year.
“In 2000, I was that college student who moved from central Mississippi to central Wisconsin,” says Mallett, who earned his bachelor’s and master’s degree at UW-Steven’s Point and a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership from Edgewood College in Madison. “It took me utilizing the resources and community relationships to achieve the goal of becoming a college graduate.”
This is the second year of the program, with 16 participants, up from seven last year. Students self-select to participate in Jump Start, signing up during summer Registration and Resources (R&R). UW-Green Bay Residence Life allows the students to move into campus housing early at no cost, because of the benefit to both students and the campus community.
Last year, the seven Jump Start participants finished with an overall GPA of 2.66 for the academic year. UW-Green Bay retained six of the seven students.
As a result of the program, students become heavily involved and entrenched as participants, not just observers, as building managers, executive officers within student organizations and even as residence assistants.
“Last year’s group showed us the great opportunities that exist for our students if they are informed about them,” says Mallett.
Jump Start is a three-day program. Each day, mornings are dedicated to informing participants about the academic resources available to them at UW-Green Bay, the afternoons are dedicated to cultural development and awareness, and evening sessions are dedicated to social development with fun trips to Lambeau Field and Badger Sports Park in Appleton. The Jump Start students also helped other freshmen move in to campus housing on September 1.