UW-Green Bay’s Rising Phoenix Program creates opportunity for rural Wisconsin high school students

Applications now being accepted for program that will give rural high school students an early start toward a college degree

Northeast Wis.— High school students in participating rural districts in Northeast Wisconsin will have access to a game-changing new program in Fall 2023, one that will see many graduating with a college degree at the same time they receive their high school diploma.

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s Rising Phoenix Early College High School Program will expand to districts within the university’s 16-county footprint that are labeled “rural-remote” by the Department of Public Instruction. Providing access to dual credit services in rural Wisconsin creates opportunity in underserved areas of the state for high school students to jumpstart their college education while still in high school. The application is now open for the program which will start in Fall 2023.

Current sophomores from participating districts will have the opportunity to apply for the Rising Phoenix Program and if admitted will be enrolled during their junior and senior years of high school. Rising Phoenix students will be concurrently enrolled in courses at their high school and UW-Green Bay. Rising Phoenix courses are selected to meet Wisconsin high school graduation requirements and the UW-Green Bay Associate of Arts and Sciences (AAS) degree. Courses will be offered in students’ high schools and online, providing students flexible options to take courses and participate in extra-curricular activities at the high school and on the university campus. These opportunities allow for students to experience college coursework in the familiar environment of their high school and to learn alongside other college students at a college campus.

“Preparing our students for their futures can be a challenging task for any district. That challenge is much greater for us, due to the barriers and obstacles that come with being Wisconsin’s smallest school district.” Said Washington Island Principal and Curriculum Director Timothy Verboomen. “Partnering with UW-Green Bay’s Rising Phoenix program for the rural district cohort offers our students access to opportunities that we hadn’t imagined possible.”

The Rising Phoenix program started in Fall 2020, and the program’s growth in each successive year has been significant. Rising Phoenix was created with the goal of reducing college debt, closing the achievement gap and providing advanced learning opportunities for high school students in Wisconsin.

The goal for participating students is to earn both their high school diploma and get a significant head start on their college degree with an opportunity to earn an AAS degree at the same time they graduate from high school. Students who complete an AAS degree will have the first two years of a bachelor’s degree completed. The accomplishment will apply whether students decide to continue at UW-Green Bay, transfer to a different college or university or enter the workforce upon graduation with an earned college credential.

“UW-Green Bay is committed to providing students with access to higher education,” said UW-Green Bay Chancellor Michael Alexander. “Expanding Rising Phoenix to district partners in rural Wisconsin gives rural students who lack early college opportunities a jumpstart. We appreciate the support of the UW-Green Bay Foundation to pilot this unique program.”

Significant advantages of the Rising Phoenix program are student support and coaching. Every student enrolled will work consistently with UW-Green Bay’s Rising Phoenix Student Success Coach, who will:

  • Assist students through the admissions process
  • Facilitate academic advising
  • Provide social and emotional support
  • Serve as a transition specialist upon graduation (college applications, scholarships, FAFSA and financial aid assistance)

To learn more about the program, visit the Rising Phoenix website at www.uwgb.edu/rising-phoenix/

About UW-Green Bay
Established in 1965, UW-Green Bay is a public institution serving more than 9,600 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students and 95,000 continuing education learners each year. We educate students from pre- college through retirement and offer 200+ degrees, programs and certificates. UW-Green Bay graduates are resilient, inclusive, sustaining and engaged members of their communities, ready to rise to fearlessly face challenges, solve problems and embrace diverse ideas and people. With four campus locations, the University welcomes students from every corner of the world. In 2021, UW-Green Bay was the fastest-growing UW school in Wisconsin. For more information, visit www.uwgb.edu.

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