Getting a jump-start on the future

UWM athletes and coaches help lead basketball camps. Photo by Troye Fox.

The average age of students at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee drops a few years during the summer.

While most traditional-age college students are taking a summer break, thousands of precollege students swarm the campus to improve their academic and athletic skills, and get a taste of what university life is like.

Twelve different programs through the TRIO and PreCollege Program bring more than 2,300 students to campus, most of them junior-high and high-school age. Students spend the summer days fine-tuning their skills in key subjects like mathematics and English, trying out new subjects like anatomy and learning about career opportunities in fields like health sciences, aeronautics and space science, advertising and marketing, nursing and engineering.

Building a bridge can be quite a stretch for K-2 youngsters in this College for Kids class. (Photo by Alan Magayne-Roshak.)

The Athletics Department camps bring 1,500 to 2,000 youngsters in to work on their basketball, baseball, volleyball and soccer moves in day and residential programs. The camps are led by UWM coaches and student athletes, who work with the youngsters on fundamental skills and strategies specific to each sport.

For more than 30 years, College for Kids and College for Teens have brought in 1,500 to 2,000 young people from kindergarten through high school each summer to try out courses in college-type subjects like architecture, filmmaking, astronomy, urban farming, pottery and Japanese.

Other precollege programs are run through individual schools and colleges. The College of Health Sciences, for example, partners with other local colleges and universities in the American Indian Science Scholars Program (AISSP). That program brings Native American high-school students to local campuses to learn more about health-related subjects, ranging from forensic science to dentistry to water research.

Some of the programs are running now; others have sessions all summer long or start later in the summer. A few offer sessions during the school year.

Financial assistance often is available. College for Kids receives some state and private funding for limited scholarships. (The program advises applying early since the money usually runs out by late April.)

The Nicholas Family Foundation this year provided scholarships to more than 100 Milwaukee Public Schools elementary students for the boys and girls basketball camps. The TRIO and PreCollege programs receive state and federal funding for qualified students from underrepresented groups.

More information on the programs is available from school guidance counselors and coaches, or by contacting the programs directly.

TRIO and PreCollege:
Phone 414-229-2845

College for Kids/Teens:

Athletics Department camps

American Indian Science Scholars:
Contact the Great Lakes Intertribal Council
800-472-7207 ext. 188 / 177