Thanks to a $70,000 grant from the Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation, Cardinal Stritch will be home to the Stritch Center for Opportunities and Promise in Education (SCOPE) Prep Program. That pre-college program will be modeled after the PEOPLE Prep Program (PPP) to engage students in college bound activities.
PPP works with elementary school students in grades 2 through 6 in Madison. SCOPE will serve youth ages 6-14 from the Green Tree Teutonia housing development in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
“When institutions think of education and working with students, they typically think of conducting programs in schools or neighborhood centers,” said Jacqueline DeWalt, director of the PEOPLE program at UW-Madison. “One of the unique features about the PEOPLE Prep Program is that it utilizes a community-based model wherein education is taken from the university setting and placed within low-income housing projects.”
In Madison, PPP is located within two north side developments – Northport Apartments and Packer Townhouse Apartments.
“We work with the students where they live,” DeWalt said. “A strong emphasis is placed on working with parents to assist them in being leaders in their child’s life and in their role as partners with the school their child attends.”
Great Lakes Higher Education was looking to replicate a successful precollege program at another state postsecondary institution – whether from UW System universities or colleges, Wisconsin private universities and colleges, or Wisconsin technical colleges.
“A few precollege programs throughout the state deemed to have a proven track record and several best practices were invited to make presentations, with the intention of identifying one program that could be replicated by another university or college within the state,” DeWalt said.
PEOPLE presented on PPP, and Great Lakes selected PPP as the program to be replicated. Several universities and colleges across the state submitted proposals to Great Lakes to be the institution to run the program, and Cardinal Stritch was chosen.
PEOPLE and PPP have proven to be worthwhile for the students, their schools and UW-Madison.
“College students, especially PEOPLE Scholars, serve as mentors to the students,” DeWalt said. “We bring the elementary age students to campus for early exposure to college life, campus resources, college majors and career options.
“Elementary education majors from the School of Educations and other college students serve as tutors, providing multicultural educational experiences to our UW-Madison students,” she said. “In other words, we open up the doors or UW-Madison to underserved Wisconsin populations relative to teaching, learning and service, actualizing the Wisconsin Idea.”