DDHS students gearing up for college

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CSI staff | August 20, 2013

DELAVAN — Up to 100 Delavan-Darien High School students will enjoy a head start when it comes to college preparation thanks to a partnership between the school and the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater's Office of Pre-College Programs.

The partnership — called the Academic Excellence Program and funded by a grant through the Great Lakes Higher Education Corp. — will offer tutoring to high school students for 90 minutes, two days per week, by DDHS teachers and UW-Whitewater students; offer academic advising to students on Fridays over the lunch period by various UW-Whitewater representatives; and a once-per-month Saturday College Seminar at UW-Whitewater for students and their parents.

UW-Whitewater will pay the two DDHS teacher tutors a $1,000 stipend once per semester and provide tutor assistants and representatives to do the regular academic advising at DDHS.

The goal is to have between 60 and 100 students participate in the program, said DDHS counselor Olivia Navarro. It is open to students who are from low-income families, would-be first-generation college students, or both.

“I feel like this is an opportunity that will allow for students to dream and understand that their goals can be achieved,” Navarro said in a news release. “The doors are open for them regardless of who they are or where they came from. There are people and programs out there that can help them succeed. This program will help them build an awareness of what college is all about.”

The program is designed around the concept of holistic community learning, which incorporates and encourages active participation from parents, teachers, school administrators and the broader community. Students will develop an academic success strategy based on grades, ACT scores and input from teachers and parents through the advising process.

Tutoring in school with teachers and the UW-Whitewater students will help DDHS students stay on task and on target with assigned schoolwork. Participants are connected to the tutoring services upon request of their parents or when a grade in a particular course is a “C” or below.

The Saturday workshops will touch on topics such as applying for college, financial aid, setting goals, time management and other positive academic success skills. UW-Whitewater will provide bus transportation from DDHS to the college campus.

“This connects or reconnects the students with the campus and the college-going culture,” said Ramon Ortiz, director of the UW-Whitewater Office of Pre-College Programs. “By being here, the mission of going to college is reinforced.”


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