UW-Green Bay Early College Programs honored by UW Board of Regents

In Milwaukee last week, the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents honored this year’s recipients of the Academic Staff Excellence Awards. These awards recognize exceptional service to the university and are the UW System’s highest recognition bestowed on members of its academic staff.

Award recipients are selected for superior performance resulting in significant contributions to the department and institution; use of positive personal interaction to manage work changes; and a consistently creative approach that improves productivity and work quality.

Meagan Strehlow accepts the award at the UW Board of Regents meeting

UW-Green Bay’s Early College Programs stemmed from the desire to implement programs that could address the opportunity gap in Wisconsin. The programs can be divided into three categories: 1) Rising Phoenix, 2) Dual Enrollment Services, and 3) GEAR UP Services. They focus on providing high-quality and equitable access to higher education for high school students and some middle school students throughout Wisconsin. UW-Green Bay advocated thinking creatively and strategically about student engagement and support to ensure student retention and success. Staff collaborate and consult with high school administrators, counselors, and others to tailor program offerings and student support to address needs.

Rising Phoenix is a signature dual enrollment program targeting underrepresented high school students, such as first-generation, racial/ethnic minorities, and/or low-income students. It has grown from serving 25 to 410 students since its start four years ago, representing 1,540 percent growth. Dual Enrollment Services, including College Credit in High School, Early College Credit Program, and the Dual Enrollment Access Academy, serve over 3,400 high school students each year, building partnerships with over 80 schools. GEAR UP, which stands for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, is a seven-year, $35-million grant received in collaboration with the Department of Public Instruction. This program works to close opportunity gaps in higher education by focusing on support and skill development for first-generation and low-income sixth through twelfth graders. Taken together, UW-Green Bay’s Early College Programs help students see higher education as a next step for those who may not have considered it previously.

“This year’s outstanding award recipients reflect the breadth of initiatives conducted by our academic staff across the UW System,” said Regent John W. Miller, chair of the selection committee. “Our honorees are committed to creating vital education programs to support student success, and the results are impressive.”

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