Center for Academic Support and Diversity
From pre-college programs to graduation and career activities, the Center for Academic Support and Diversity (CASD) offers an array of programs and services that provide academic and student support services to enhance recruitment, enrollment, retention and graduation of multicultural and qualified first-generation, low-income and/or disabled students.
Tutorial specialists collaborate with faculty, staff and other departments and/or units on campus to help students with their academic endeavors. The goal is to increase retention and graduation and to create a campus environment conducive to student learning.
CASD is composed of four units: PreCollege Programs, Multicultural Retention Programs (MRP), Multicultural Education Center (MEC) and Student Support Services (SSS).
The 2009 PreCollege Programs enrolled 129 middle and high students primarily from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Eighty-four percent were multicultural students and 16 percent were non-multicultural students. Participants came from 48 different middle and high schools throughout Wisconsin and 23 were from rural area schools. For summer 2009, the CASD PreCollege Programs offered the following academic programs:
- Aspiring Pupils for Professional Leadership in Education (APPLE) offered coursework in reading/writing, mathematics, speech communication, introduction to computers for teachers and exploring career options in the educational field. These included an array of educational courses offered by the College of Education, including workshops/seminars in multicultural awareness, career development and preparation and admissions, financial aid and career processes;
- Exploring Science, Technology and Engineering Education Majors (ESTEEM) offered coursework in English/Writing, mathematics, speech communication, water and beach microbiology, quail embryo, meteorology, geology lab, crime scene Investigations, website design, engineering space program and admissions college preparatory and career explorations workshops;
- Making Aspiration Turn to Honors (MATH) offered coursework in reading/writing skills, pre-algebra, plane geometry, elementary/inter-mediate algebra, trigonometry, esteem building, study skills, and admissions college preparatory workshop;
- PreCollege Enrichment Program (PEP) offered coursework in reading/writing, mathematics, introduction to computers, speech communication, health and wellness, self-esteem building, study skills, multicultural awareness and, admissions college preparatory and career exploration workshops;
- Summer Mathematics and Reading Talent Scholars (SMARTS) offered coursework in reading, mathematics, esteem-building, study skills and multicultural awareness;
- Wisconsin Youth in Nursing (WYN) offered coursework in English, mathematics, science, nursing careers and concepts, anatomy cadaver lab, obstetrics nursing, pediatric nursing and a field trip to the Appleton Medical Center;
- Young Entrepreneurial Scholars (YES) offered coursework in English composition, mathematics, developing a business plan, business technology, admissions, financial aid and career exploration workshops, including a field trip to 4-Imprint.
The following programs were funded by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) for $161,000: APPLE, COEHS, ESTEEM, MATH, PEP, WYN and YES. The UW System Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion funded SMARTS for $19,792.
In summer 2009, 12 YES residential program students interested in the accounting field were interviewed and selected for a six-week internship at various Milwaukee area businesses, including Coleman & Williams Ltd.; Wisconsin Center District; City of Milwaukee Comptroller’s Office; Milwaukee Public Schools; Johnson Controls Inc.; Legacy Bank, Northwestern Mutual Life; Zoological Society of Milwaukee; and Michael Best & Friedrich. The YES sponsors provided each student with a $1,000 stipend at the end of the internship.
In spring 2010, PreCollege Programs invited the summer 2009 PreCollege students from APPLE, MATH, WYN and YES for a two-day reunion on the UW Oshkosh campus; 27 high school students attended. The PreCollege Programs sponsored a luncheon with the deans from the College of Business, College of Education and Human Services, College of Letters and Science and the College of Nursing. Additionally, students class-shadowed college mentors.
Multicultural Retention Programs
During the 2009-2010 academic year, counselors from the Multicultural Retention Programs were readily available to help students of color in their personal, social and academic development as they adjusted to a rigorous campus life. MRP counselors offered services to the 855 undergraduate students of color enrolled during the fall 2009 semester.
The Emerging Scholars Program (ESP), a faculty-student mentoring program, was piloted in 2008 to help African American students achieve academic, intellectual, personal and professional success at UW Oshkosh by promoting and facilitating interaction between faculty and students. Twenty-three (23) African American students were paired with 21 faculty members for the 2009-2010 academic year.
The Early Warning Intervention (EWI) Program closely monitors the academic progress of multicultural and disadvantaged students on a course-by-course basis. Feedback from professors alerts CASD advisers to contact those students who need help or to further encourage exemplary work. During the 2009-2010 academic year, 5,511 EWI reports were sent to faculty with a return rate of 40.74 percent (2,245), of which 33.94 percent (762) required intervention by the MRP counselors and SSS advisers.
The MRP’s senior development skills specialist helped multicultural students understand assignment instructions to help them create and produce well-written papers in order to gain confidence in their written work. Recognizing the need of those multicultural students struggling with English, and with a commitment to honor language variations, services are designed to better aid students by not imposing limited time slots for receiving help.
Other services that helped students with written assignments included facilitating late-night study-a-thons at the Multicultural Education Center and study skills and note-taking workshops as well as related seminars. The program also offered e-mail correspondence with those students limited in readily available meeting times during the academic year. During the fall 2009, this position also worked with other retention initiatives, particularly with the Asian/Hmong students, the fastest-growing multicultural student population on campus. Addressing the needs of multicultural students in the advising arena included supportive involvement with two organizations, the Hmong Student Union and the Asian Student Association.
The senior developmental skills specialist continued to achieve positive results with multicultural students in writing assistance for the academic year 2009-2010. Forty-four of 96 student contacts working with the senior developmental skills specialist received a grade of A, A-, 44.8 percent received B+, B or B-, 9.4 percent received C+, C and two dropped the course.
The Math Skills and Assessment Specialist (MSAS) offered assistance during the 2009-2010 academic year to students enrolled in courses ranging from Basic Algebra through Calculus III, including Statistics (business, math, psychological and sociological) and Research Methods. Of the students who sought tutorial assistance, 76.9 percent (30 out of 39) successfully completed their coursework, compared to 67.5 percent who did not seek help with their math. Conversely, only 23.1 percent of the participants withdrew from or failed the class compared to 32.5 percent of those who did not seek assistance. This implies that even knowing that help is available fosters some of the encouragement instrumental in completing a class, even if an individual’s assessment of his/her academic progress is low. The MSAS also worked with three UW Oshkosh students as an examination administrator for the University of Wisconsin Extension System out of Madison and Brigham Young University to provide assistance and give exams to those students taking courses online or through the mail.
The annual American Multicultural Student Leadership Conference (AMSLC), initiated in the 1980s, is hosted annually by all University of Wisconsin campuses on a rotating basis to provide a forum for multicultural students to network and caucus around issues of diversity. It also offers opportunities for these students to gain leadership skills through participation in seminars, workshops and plenary sessions as well as interacting with role models, e.g., keynote speakers, workshop presenters, and UW-System administrators and faculty/staff members. In addition, students are given the opportunity to submit papers/artwork for presentation and competition in a number of academic categories (e.g., creative writing, visual arts, research, etc.).
In 2009, nine UW Oshkosh students from the Center for Academic Support and Diversity attended the 2009 AMSLC, held at UW-Stevens Point in October. Four of those students (out of a total of only 30 presenters chosen across the 13 UW System campuses) qualified for presentation: Tia Wilder, poetry; Chukwunyere Omegbu, poster presentation/research; McNair Scholar LaNee Xiong, research; and Mee Yang, narrative paper.
For 2009-2010, the CASD Study-A-Thon program, a highly popular, late-night student study session traditionally scheduled twice a year at the MEC, was offered three times each semester due to student demand.Tutors from Student Support Services, the senior development skills specialist and the math specialist all helped with specific areas of study.
At the 2010 Honors and Awards Ceremony, the following student were recognized : one Hispanic student received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence; two African American students received the: Cecelia Brown Memorial Award; one African American received the James Cook Leadership Award; one Hispanic student, one African American student and one Native American Student were named to the Ronald McNair Scholars Program; two African American students, two South East Asian students and one Asian student received the: Multicultural Leadership Award; one Asian student received the College of Letters and Science Art award; one Asian student received the College of Letters and Science George R. Soika Scholarship Award; one Hispanic student received the College of Nursing Irene L. Blanchette Nursing Award; one Hispanic student received the College of Nursing Herbert C. and Mae Yagers Nursing Scholarship; one Asian student was named to the Undergraduate Student/ Faculty Collaborative Research Program; and one Asian student received the: French Book Award.
The Targeted Opportunity Program Jobs is one of many internship programs offered by the state of Wisconsin for racial and ethnic minorities, female students and students with disabilities. For 2009-2010, 33 multicultural students applied for the internships, with four students being offered a summer position at a state agency.
The Multicultural Education Coalition Student Board, offered the first Multicultural Leadership Retreat during spring 2010. Twenty-nine multicultural students participated. The retreat served as a platform for students to discuss and explore various dimensions of Inclusive Excellence.
Multicultural Education Center
The MEC is intricately linked to the Multicultural Retention Programs, serving as a campus and community resource center and sponsoring programs and activities to increase understanding and appreciation of cultural diversity. The MRP counselors provide staffing for the MEC and maintain an environment conducive to learning and cultural/recreational activities for students during the academic year. In collaboration with the University’s Odyssey Program, the CASD scheduled its annual open house at the MEC during the early check-in of first-year students. The event offered information to parents and students about the University, including food sampling and entertainment. New students and their respective parents and/or family members received packets of information regarding CASD programs and services and also had an opportunity to interact with faculty, CASD staff and students.
During 2009-2010, the Multicultural Education Coalition, in collaboration with other student organizations (Hmong Student Union, Asian Student Association, Black Student Union, Student Organization of Latinos and Inter-Tribal Student Organization), spearheaded the annual Celebration of Cultures event for the campus community at the MEC. Multicultural student organizations participated in the planning of the Hispanic Heritage Month, Native American Heritage Month, Black History Month, Asian Heritage Month, the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, Holidays Around the World, MEC Homecoming Breakfast and numerous other cultural events and activities.
During the 2010 spring semester, the campus community participated in the Second Annual Celebration of Cultures Picnic which offered food and live entertainment by Trinidad Tripol, steel band.
Student Support Services
Student Support Services (SSS) is one of the federal TRiO programs funded through the U.S. Department of Education. The program has existed on the UW Oshkosh campus since 1975. The goal of SSS is to increase the college retention and graduation rates of the students it serves. The UW Oshkosh program serves a total 300 students annually. Students must meet prescribed eligibility criteria relating to family economic status and/or parental education attainment. Students with documented disabilities also may be served by the program.
The SSS staff provides the following services to the students enrolled in the program: academic advising, individual or small group tutoring, career and graduate school counseling, financial aid and scholarship assistance, personal advising and coaching, and referrals to campus resources. A variety of academic workshops and cultural enrichment events are offered throughout the year. In addition, students can earn grant aid to help offset their college expenses.The UW Oshkosh SSS program awarded more than $50,000 in scholarships during the 2009-2010 year to eligible SSS students.
The program is evaluated by three objectives: persistence of program students at UW Oshkosh, academic standing and college graduation rate of program students.The program traditionally meets and exceeds its objectives on an annual basis:
Objective One: Persistence
Sixty-five percent of all students served by the SSS program will persist from the 2009-2010 academic year to the 2010-2011 academic year or graduate from UW Oshkosh.
Total number of SSS students during the 2009-2010 year: 303
Total number of students earning a baccalaureate degree during the 2009-2010 year: 45
Total number of students enrolled in coursework at UW Oshkosh during the 2010-11 years: 229
Persistence rate of SSS students from the 2009-2010 year to the 2010-2011 year: 90.43 percent
Objective Two: Academic Good Standing
Seventy percent of all students served by the SSS program will meet the performance level required to stay in good academic standing at UW Oshkosh.
Total number of SSS students during the 2009-2010 year: 303
Total number of SSS students in academic good standing at the end of the 2009-2010 year: 270
The percentage of SSS students in good academic standing at the end of the 2009-2010 year: 89.1 percent
Objective Three: College Graduation Rate
Five percent of each entering cohort will graduate in four years from their entrance into the SSS program, an additional 15 percent in five years and an additional 15 percent in six years. (A total of 35% in six years.)
2003-2004 cohort: 87 students were members of the cohort.
As of August 31, 2009, 44 of the students had earned their baccalaureate degrees from UW Oshkosh.
Graduation rate of the SSS 2003-2004 cohort group is 50.6 percent.
Four additional members of the 2003-2004 cohort graduated during the 2009-2010 year
Three members of the 2003-2004 cohort are presently enrolled at UW Oshkosh.
(Fall 2010 semester)
2004-05 cohort: 90 students were members of the cohort.
As of August 31, 2010, 39 of the students had earned their baccalaureate degrees from UW Oshkosh.
Graduation rate of the SSS 2004-2005 cohort group is 43 percent.
Three members of the 2004-2005 cohort are presently enrolled at UW Oshkosh
(Fall 2010 semester)
One of the students will be earning a baccalaureate degree in January 2011.