We are committed to providing educational access and opportunities to individuals and families without regard to gender, ethnicity, disability or socioeconomic status. We provide participants and their families’ information, support and academic services for post-secondary attendance.

Our goal is to increase the number of diverse individuals to complete their high school education and attend and graduate from college. We believe that education empowers communities to inspire future generations to effect change.

Overview of programs6789101112Adult
Educational Opportunity Centerx
Future Success Programxxxx
Knowledge is Powerxxxx
Mini-Courses – ACT Prep Classxx
Mini-Courses – ACT Test Taking Experiencexxx
Mini-Courses – Saturday Academyxxx
Mini Courses – Summer Exploration Campxxx
Planning for the Future – Academic Yearxxx
Planning for the Future – Summerxxx
Talent Searchxxxxxxxx
Upward Boundxxxx
Upward Bound Math and Sciencexxxx
Veterans Upward Boundx
Monthly scheduleJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Education Opportunity Center Classxxxxxxxxxxxx
Future Success Programxxxxxxxxxxx
Knowledge is Powerxxxxxxxx
Mini-Courses – ACT Prep Classxxxx
Mini-Courses – ACT Test Taking Experiencexxxx
Mini-Courses – Saturday Academyxxxx
Mini-Courses – Summer Exploration Campx
Planning for the Future – Academic Yearxxxxxxxxx
Planning for the Future – Summerx
Talent Searchxxxxxxxxxxxx
Upward Boundxxxxxxxxxxxx
Upward Bound Math and Sciencexxxxxxxxxxxx
Veterans Upward Boundxxxxxxxxxxxx

ACT and College Preparation

ACT Preparation

The Mini-Courses ACT Preparation Class is designed to help prepare students for the official ACT college entrance exam. Math, reading, English and science reasoning are covered, as well as strategies for taking the test. Students engage in 20 hours of intense classroom instruction and review. They are provided a realistic pre-test and post-test experience. The class runs for seven consecutive Saturdays which requires students to have a high level of commitment and dedication to regularly attend. There are 100 openings per session, in which student ratio to instructor is 25:1. Mini-Courses offers a summer session of the ACT Preparation Class through College for Teens. The session is for two weeks from 2:00pm-4:00pm.

Students must have a core GPA of 2.5 to be eligible for this class and must be in grades 11-12. Only the core classes are used to determine the student’s core GPA.

The cost for the Fall and Spring ACT Preparation Class is $175. The Summer ACT Preparation Class offered through College for Teens is $185. Students may receive a maximum of three DPI Precollege Scholarships per year and are available for students who are eligible for free or reduced lunch.

If I’m registered for the ACT Preparation Class am I also registered for the official ACT test?

No. Registering for the ACT Preparation Class only enrolls you in the seven Saturday preparation course. To register for the official ACT test, please go to www.actstudent.org or see your school counselor.

If I’m signed up for an official ACT test during the ACT Preparation Class can I still take the class?

Students who are registered for the official ACT test during the class dates are not eligible for the UWM ACT Preparation Class.

Is the writing test covered?

No. The Writing Test is not a component of the ACT Preparation Class. However, the Writing Test is briefly covered in the Reading component of the class. We do provide extensive handouts and materials on the Writing test and are available to answer any questions students may have about the Writing Test.

What are the core classes that are factored into the Grade Point Average?

Core classes are only used to determine the applicant’s core grade point average. Those classes include variations of reading, math, English, science, social studies and foreign languages. This does not include classes such as music, art, physical education, computers, etc… when calculating your core GPA. If you have any questions regarding your core GPA for eligibility (core GPA required for the ACT Preparation Class is 2.5), please call our office at 229-6236.

Can I take the class more than one time?

Students who have already attended the ACT Preparation Class are not eligible to take the ACT Preparation Class a second time. If there is a medical or emergency situation involved, please contact the Director of Mini-Courses at 229-6236 to discuss this circumstance.

Will my ACT score increase by taking this class?

We do not guarantee a student’s score will increase. Past statistics have shown that at least 75% of the students that take the pre- and post-test increase their score. When taking a standardized test, it is likely there will be a marginal variation in scores. Individual test scores have the ability to be hampered by the potential of “noise” that each student may experience or encounter during the ACT Post-test. Examples of “noise” could be a lack of sleep, emotional distress, lack of effort, anxiety, or any other situation, which would affect the student’s test taking ability.

If I sign up for the ACT Preparation Class, do I also need to sign up for the ACT Test Taking Experience?

No. Students who are registered for the ACT Preparation Class DO NOT need to apply for the ACT Test Taking Experience. The unofficial pre-test and post-test experiences are included in the ACT Preparation Class.

ACT Test Taking Experience Program

The ACT Test Taking Experience is a one-time opportunity to take an unofficial ACT test and receive unofficial test results. Unofficial test results and additional test taking strategies are mailed within two weeks from your chosen testing date. If you register for the Mini-Courses ACT Preparation Class you do not need to register for the Mini-Courses ACT Test Taking Experience.

Students must be in 10th-12th grade to register, no grade point average requirement. Fee is $25, no scholarships are available.

Future Success Program

The Future Success Program (FSP) is designed to ensure that students and their parents receive information and academic support services necessary for college admission and completion. FSP provides students with the foundation needed to be successful in high school as well as college. Students in grades 9-12 with a GPA of at least 2.5 will be ensured completion of college prep coursework, registration and completion of the ACT exam, timely submission of college and financial aid applications and scholarship forms. Students will be provided with intense academic advising, tutoring, mentoring, career exploration, test taking and study skills.

Academic Year Future Success Program offers:

  • Core Academic Components, Advising, Tutoring and Mentoring
  • Leadership Training
  • Majors and Careers Exploration
  • Exposure to opportunities and advantages at UW-Milwaukee (i.e. academics, student life, sports, organizations and housing)
  • Academic and Lifeskills Workshops on select Mondays and Tuesdays 4:30-6pm
  • Guidance and Support Services including: Financial Aid, Admission Requirements, Grants & Scholarships, Student & Parent, Information Sessions, Tutoring

The summer component is designed to be an instructional program for students to be better prepared for their core classes the following school year and to offer college level coursework. The basic curriculum consists of Math, Science, English and an elective (Architecture Track, Business/Accounting or Health Track). The program is residential for selected 11th-12th graders. Other students will be commuter students.

Summer Future Success Program offers:

  • Workshop Topics such as Career Services, Recruitment and Outreach and Enrollment Services
  • Opportunity to join the Metro Accounting Club


  • Interest in developing academic, leadership and social skills
  • Consider UWM as an option for post secondary education
  • Must have a minimum core GPA of 2.0 (core subjects-verified by most recent report card)
  • 9th-12th grade as of Fall
  • Be mature and responsible
  • Willingness to commit to the program during the academic year and summer program
  • DPI Scholarships are available for those eligible for free/reduced school lunch

There is a fee assessed at $912.00 for the full academic year for students not eligible for free or reduced price lunch. DPI Scholarships are available. In order to be eligible for the DPI scholarship students will have to be eligible for free or reduced price lunch.

GEAR UP Program

The GEAR UP program is a multi-year commitment to the students of Multiplex North, Northwest, Custer, Pulaski and South Division High Schools. Starting with 6th and 7th grade in 2005-06, we will follow those students through high school graduation and provide them with academic support and advising that will better prepare them for high school and ultimately college.

GEAR UP also strives to expose students and their families to college campuses and increase their knowledge of post-secondary options, available financial aid and scholarships, high school courses needed to enter college and other entrance requirements. In addition, GEAR UP strives to facilitate target school teachers’ participation in professional development programs.


  • Help students increase their reading scores
  • Help students increase their performance in math
  • Increase parental knowledge of college entrance requirements, college costs and the availability of financial aid.
  • Provide professional development to the staff of GEAR UP schools
  • Increase student knowledge of college entrance requirements, college costs and the availability of financial aid.

Students in the 10th and 11th grade and who are attending Custer, Northwest Secondary, North Multiplex, Pulaski and South Division high school are eligible to participate. Students are eligible if they attend one of the target schools and are in 10th and 11th grade this year. An application/parental consent form should be completed to fully participate. Please see your GEAR UP advisor at your school ( Custer, Northwest Secondary, North Multiplex, Pulaski or South Division) to complete an application. There are no fees for any GEAR UP service. GEAR UP is a federally funded program.

Knowledge is Power Program

This DPI funded program is a collaborative effort between UWM and Loyola Academy high school. The following are the five program initiatives: start early awareness of career options and how to achieve them; motivate, encourage, and assist students to graduate from high school and seriously consider post-secondary education; familiarize students with the college experience; provide parents/families with information, encouragement, and assistance in order to support their children’s efforts; and provide students and parents an opportunity to become familiar with the UWM campus. These goals are achieved through various activities, such as providing classroom materials, academic & career field trips, academic tutoring, and career workshops.

  • Enrolled in 9th-12th grade at Loyola Academy only at time of application
  • Desire to go to college after high school
  • In order to be eligible for the DPI scholarship students will have to be eligible for free or reduced price lunch.

Students are recruited for the Knowledge Is Power Program at the start school year, and should contact their Guidance Counselor at Loyola Academy to request an application. There is a fee assessed at $700.00 for students not eligible for free or reduced price lunch. In order to be eligible for the DPI scholarship students will have to be eligible for free or reduced price lunch.

Quest Program

The Quest Project is a pre-college program designed to educate and motivate Milwaukee area middle and high school students, and their parents. Our aim is to provide information, support and encouragement so they successfully complete high school, and are prepared to enter college and successfully complete a college degree. During the academic year the program offers workshops on a wide variety of subjects from Financial Aid and College Search to Self Esteem, Resume Writing, and Learning Strategies. Additionally, academic support is offered through tutoring.

Students must have attended the designated summer camp at one of the UW-System partner campuses. They may continue in Quest until they graduate from high school.

The Quest Project receives contact information from the partner campuses, and then mails registration materials to the student. There are no fees for participation in the Quest Project and is funded by UW-System.

Upward Bound Program

Upward Bound is a pre-college academic achievement program designed to help students develop the motivation and skills that are required to graduate high school and successfully complete a college degree. Upward Bound programs are funded by the US Department of Education, Federal TRIO Programs.

  • Improve academic skills
  • Teach effective study strategies
  • Explore career choices
  • Provide experiences in diverse cultural and educational activities
  • Promote personal growth and responsibility

The UWM Upward Bound program selects students in grade 9 and 10 who attend one of the following “target” schools: Bay View, Custer, Marshall, Milwaukee High School of the Arts, North Division, Riverside, South Division or Washington. Students who enroll in the Upward Bound program must be a first-generation college student or meet income eligibility guidelines. Services are free to students who are accepted and who:

  • Are willing to make a commitment to participate in all tutoring sessions, workshops, field trips, six week summer program, and other activities;
  • Are interested in math and science;
  • Have an interest in pursuing a college degree

Not only are all services FREE, but participants can also earn up to $40 a month during the academic year and $60 a month during the summer months.

Math and Science Upward Bound Program

UWM Upward Bound Math and Science is an academic support pre-college program funded through the U.S. Department of Education, and sponsored by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The program works with students in grades 9-12 to help them realize their potential to excel in math and science, and encourage them to pursue a post-secondary degree in Math and Science fields. Services provided by UBMS include:

  • Tutoring
  • Academic Advising
  • Career Exploration
  • College Admissions information and application assistance
  • Financial aid and scholarship information and application assistance
  • Academic Workshops
  • College Campus Visits
  • Cultural Activities
  • Parent Workshops

During the academic school year, students attend after school tutoring on campus at least two days a week, meet regularly with advisors to discuss academic performance and attend other scheduled academic enrichment workshops and cultural activities. During the summer program, students attend classes, tutoring sessions, academic workshops, and educational and cultural activities.


  • Be a U.S. Citizen or a permanent resident.
  • Have a household income that meets low-income guidelines established annually by the federal government
  • Be a potential first-generation college graduate; this scholar whose parent(s) did not graduate from a four-year college or university
  • Be in high school (grades 9-12), and attend and Upward Bound Math and Science “target” high school: Bay View, Custer, Hamilton, Juneau, Madison, Marshall, Milwaukee High School of the Arts, Milwaukee Trade and Technical, North Division, Pulaski, Riverside, Rufus King, South Division, Vincent or Washington.
  • Want to go to college after high school graduation.

Preferences given to students who are willing to:

  • Remain in the program through graduation from high school.
  • Participate in the fall and spring tutoring twice a week
  • Participate in and complete the six week summer program each year
  • Attend all workshops, college visits, academic and social activities.

Talent Search

The Talent Search Program identifies and assists individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds who have the potential to succeed in higher education. The program encourages them to graduate from high school and continue on to the post-secondary school of their choice. Talent Search also serves high school plus post secondary dropouts by encouraging them to pursue a G.E.D and/or reenter the educational system and to complete their education. The goal of Talent Search is to increase the number of youth from disadvantaged backgrounds who complete high school and enroll in the post-secondary education institution of their choice.

To be eligible, students must have interest and desire to attend college and be willing to fully participate in UB in the summer and during the school year. Students have to be in the 9th and 10th grade to apply. Upward Bound gives preference to students who is willing to remain in the program through graduation from high school and encourages cultural diversity, and invite applications from eligible students of all racial and ethnic backgrounds. Students are recruited for UWM Upward Bound during the freshman or sophomore year of high school. The best time to apply is in the fall of the freshman year. Applications must be submitted before the completion of the sophomore year. Students who are not selected for the Upward Bound due to limited capacity or eligibility requirements, will be referred to other programs within the UWM Pre-College Programs for consideration.

There are no fees for participating in Upward Bound; Talent Search Programs are funded by the US Department of Education, Federal TRIO Programs.

What if I do not attend one of the target schools?

You are still eligible to apply to the program if you live near the target schools.

If I play sports can I still join Upward Bound?

Yes! Many of our students play sports or have jobs. Students create their own tutoring schedule around their availability.

Elementary and Middle School

Campus Tours for Elementary and Middle School students

The Mini-Course Program coordinates free TRIO and Pre-College/Mini-Courses Campus Tours for groups of students in elementary and middle school by appointment Monday through Friday for one and a half hour tours of the UWM campus. The groups may be from a specific school, church, or community based organization. The purpose of these tours is to expose students at an early age to the University experience and encourage them to excel academically.

Our tours are specifically catered to your elementary and/or middle school students. We visit different buildings and landmarks around campus, explaining the types of classes, different careers, and majors. Our tour guides also talk about financial aid, admission/enrollment requirements, student organizations, college experiences, and much more. Our tour guides are UW-Milwaukee students who have been properly trained to understand policies, program requirements, and are able to explain college student life in easy-to-understand terms. They are very familiar with the different buildings and programs on campus that will interest your students.

Groups of students must be grades K-8. Group size is dependent on the number of tour guides available. If we are fully staffed with tour guides during your scheduled tour date/time, the maximum number of students a group could bring is 60. One chaperone per 15 students is required. Select dates and times may be unavailable due to other campus activities and/or campus tour guide availability.Lunch is not included in the Campus Tour. Tours run from either 10:00am-11:30am or 12:00pm-1:30pm and do not include a scheduled lunch. Groups that wish to purchase and/or eat lunch on the UWM campus must do so on their own.Meal cards may be purchased through UWM Restaurant Operations. You can place any dollar amount on these cards and they may be picked up the morning of your tour. It is suggested to place at least $7.00 on your student’s meal cards. For more information, please call UWM Restaurant Operations at 414.229.3733. Transportation is the responsibility of the school/organization. The school and/or community organization representative is responsible for setting up transportation for their group. If your tour is scheduled and confirmed, your group may be dropped off and picked up at the UWM Student Union.

Saturday Academy Sessions

Mini-Courses Saturday Academy sessions, scheduled in the fall and spring, are designed to enhance student’s academic skills and interest in higher education. Saturday Academy is an intense academic program designed to serve students who are willing to go the extra mile to enhance their education. Students may elect from a variety of classes including math, reading, English, writing, science, computers, foreign language, and various career related courses. Student’s academic performance will be assessed and evaluated in the specific subject areas and instruction will be provided that will build on existing strengths and work on identified weaknesses. Saturday Academy families have the opportunity to participate in tutoring, workshops, community service projects, and social events throughout the school year. Program is limited to 125 students.

There is no grade point average requirement to be eligible for Saturday Academy. Students must be in grades 6-8. The fee for the program is $180 per course. Students who are eligible for free/reduced lunch can apply for a full DPI Pre-College Scholarship.

Summer Exploration Camp

Students attend a two week exploration camp which includes a math and science component one week and a reading and writing component the next. Each week there is a class related field trip to a local business & afternoon recreational activities which includes life skills, prevention, goal setting, and college awareness. Class size: 40 Students (first come, first serve basis)

Students must have a core GPA of 2.0 to be eligible for this class and must be entering grades 6-8 in the upcoming fall semester. Only the core classes are used to determine GPA. Those classes include variations of reading, math, English, science, social studies and foreign languages. Do NOT include classes such as music, art, physical education, computers, etc. when calculating your core GPA.

The fee for this program is $400. A DPI Pre-College Scholarship is available for students who are eligible for free/reduced lunch.

Planning for the Future Program

The Planning for the Future Program at UWM offers middle school students in 6th through 8th grade and aims to address the needs of students through educational and social activities and includes

  • Life Skills and Leadership Workshops
  • Majors and Careers Exploration
  • Mentoring by High School and College Students
  • Guest Speaker Presentations
  • Campus Tours, Field Trips and Social Activities
  • Positive and Supportive Learning Environment

The Academic Year Program includes additional activities including Reading/Writing, Math and Science Classes (skill-building to enrichment levels) and Tutoring (Quest Project) and Advising (School Visits).

The Summer Reading and Writing Program is an intense two week program. Students are placed in skill-building or enrichment levels based of academic grades and grade level. The goal of the program is to equip students with the tools needed to develop effective reading and writing skills.

In order to participate in the Planning for the Future Academic Year students should be:

  • Interested in developing academic, leadership and social skills
  • In 6th-8th grade
  • Mature and Responsible
  • Willing to attend entire program year

Parents and students must both attend orientation. The fee for students not eligible for DPI Scholarship is $505.00. In order to qualify for DPI Scholarship student must be eligible for free or reduced lunch or meet MPS guidelines. Submitting a completed application does not guarantee acceptance into the program. You will be notified by mail of your status. No phone calls please. No partial or faxed applications will be accepted. Participation in program will be forfeited for non compliance of the rule.

Adult & Veterans

Veterans Upward Bound Program

Over 1,880 veterans have graduated from colleges all over the country with the help of Veterans Upward Bound programs. Veterans Upward Bound (VUB) is a federally funded TRIO Program (U.S. Department of Education) designed to help qualified military veterans become college-ready and enroll in a post-secondary school (university, community college, and vocational/technical programs). VUB provides basic skills instruction and educational and career advising to enable veterans to achieve their academic goals. Those veterans without a high school diploma can take the basic skills classes to prepare to take the GED exam.

  • Promote the development and opportunities of veterans to reach their full potential.
  • Help veterans learn in an environment with fellow veterans who understand their unique needs.
  • Respect each veteran as an adult learner, and appreciate their service to our country.
  • Find the right career for each veteran based on their abilities and disabilities.


  • Any U.S. military veteran who served more than 180 days of active duty (other than for training only), or was released from active duty because of a service connected disability.
  • Veterans must have a discharge OTHER than dishonorable.
  • Veterans must be low-income and/or a potential first-generation college student as defined that neither of the veteran’s parents has obtained a 4-year college degree.

This is an open enrollment and open departure program which means that participation is voluntary with no financial commitments or charges. Veterans may be eligible for monthly stipends (not to exceed $40) after they have completed their first 10 hours of class time.Veterans in residential programs are welcome and VUB activities do NOT take precedent over the requirements of the residential facility (e.g., Vets Place or Dom 123). Veterans in need of transportation assistance may be eligible to receive bus tickets in order to attend classes.

When you begin the VUB program you will be given the TABE assessment test to determine where you are academically. You will also have a one-on-one with our advisor or director to discuss your interests and goals. Next a plan is developed to help you reach your goals. Academic weaknesses can be worked on by attending our classes, tutoring, or by working independently with our software programs. We will help you with the college admissions process. Upon completion of the VUB program we will continue to be a resource for your ongoing educational success.

Can VUB help me find a job?

No, but we do offer career counseling and resume development. It should be noted that all TRIO Programs funded by the U.S. Department of Education have attainment of a four-year degree as their ultimate goal. Having said that, many VUB alum have improved their basic skills and enrolled in certificate programs of interest or obtained career level employment.

I’m already enrolled in a post-secondary program, am I still eligible to participate in VUB?

Maybe. Our services are focused on helping veterans improve their basic skills to become college-ready to enter school. Veterans that are already in school may be well beyond the benefit of our program.

Does VUB provide financial aid?

No. We may assist in identifying financial aid resources and completing the application process but we are not funded to assist with college costs. Monthly stipends paid to participants (not to exceed $40) are primarily to offset any costs incurred by the veteran to participate in the program, and they also serve as a secondary inducement for retention.

Milwaukee County Outreach Programs

The Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) is designed and dedicated to motivating and assisting low-income, first-generation college, and disabled Milwaukee County adults to further their education beyond the secondary level and earn a college degree. Our mission is to expand awareness of educational opportunities and post-secondary education options to low-income first generation Milwaukee County adult residents. We aim to increase the number of Milwaukee County adults who enroll in post-secondary education institutions by developing and nurturing collaborative relationships with community agencies, schools, post-secondary institutions, and local business to engage in activities designed to involve and acquaint the local community with higher education.

Outreach Partners

  • Benedict Center
  • Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC) & 42 Community Based Agencies in Milwaukee County that house MATC Adult Basic Skills, ESL, and GED/HSED Programs for adult students
  • Social Development Commission (SDC)
  • United Migrant Opportunity Services (UMOS)

The EOC program targets students who are interested in continuing their education to the post-secondary level. Each year, EOC serves 1,000 adults from the Milwaukee County community. You are eligible to participate in the program if you are:

  • 19 years of age and older
  • Legal resident of Milwaukee County
  • Citizen or permanent resident of the United States of America
  • First generation college student (Neither one of your parents has completed a bachelors degree at a four year college or university)
  • From a low-income family (Based on the federal low income guidelines)

Special consideration for admission into the program is given to applicants who are economically disadvantaged and have parents or guardians who did not graduate from a four year college.

Participants in the EOC program receive educational information, individual advising, and direct assistance with making plans that ultimately help them achieve their educational and career goals. Qualifying adults who want to enter or continue a program of secondary or post-secondary education receive information, counseling, and assistance with engaging in continuing education opportunities. EOC staff works with individual participants to assist them to identifying and applying for appropriate educational and occupational training programs at the secondary and postsecondary levels. Participants are also assisted with identifying and applying for the various financial aid resource options, such as grants and loans, and are kept informed about scholarship opportunities. As part of their college preparation program, participants are exposed to college campus life through college tours and cultural enrichment activities and field trips.

In addition, EOC works to support students’ success by conducting informational workshops on a variety of college preparation and retention topics such as:

  • Academic Advising
  • Information on Post-secondary Education Opportunities and College Selection
  • Testing Taking Skills and Strategies
  • Financial Aid
  • Career Exploration
  • Study and time management skills and strategies
  • Financial management
  • Basic computer and internet skills
  • Tutoring & Mentoring

All EOC services are free to participants and are assisted to apply to and enroll in any educational institution, college, school, agency, training program, or any other postsecondary institution of their choice. EOC ensures that all participants, regardless of their race, color, ethnicity, religion, national origin, gender, age, citizenship status, or disability, have equitable access to and participation in its federally assisted program activities as required by the laws and regulations that govern the program. Transportation to and from EOC activities is provided. Lunch and admissions fees to select cultural or academic enrichment programs are also provided for eligible participants. Participants are informed about EOC activities by mail. Participation in the academic and computer workshops, college tours, cultural activities, and annual educational resource fair is encouraged, but may be optional based on personal needs.

One-on-one advising and assistance is available to participants by appointment. EOC cannot provide funds to pay for college or any other educational program. However, we can help you access federal, state, and private funds in the form of grants, loans, or scholarships that you are eligible for. We also help you identify other types of unique funds that may be available to you such as tuition reimbursement benefits offered at some companies for their employee. The Income eligibility requirement for participation in the program is determined based on the annual Federal Income Guidelines.