Academic Opportunity Center (AOC)

Mitchell Hall 173

The Academic Opportunity Center (AOC), formerly known as the Experimental Program in Higher Education (EPHE), began in 1968. In 1985, after many years of the Department of Learning Skills and Educational Opportunity (DLSEO) working separately, they were merged. Since the program’s inception, the mission has been to offer access to UWM for students who have potential for success, but whose previous academic preparation and/or background may not have adequately prepared them for college. Students are offered admission through AOC by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. In AOC, each student has a primary academic advisor and a secondary advisor depending upon the student’s major. The instructors in English, educational psychology (study skills) and reading work together to assist students in achieving academic success.”

When a student is admitted via the AOC, the advisor becomes the student’s primary point of contact. The advisor helps each student interpret placement test scores and register for classes. S/he also encourages tutoring when necessary, informs students of university policies and procedures, serves as a referral source, helps students gain information about financial aid, and provides other information as needed to succeed at UWM. Many of the foundational courses are taught by AOC instructors in classes that typically are smaller than general university classes and offer more individualized instruction. The program’s academic advisors have a smaller case load of students which enables them to offer intensive advising and to monitor progress in regular meetings with each student throughout the semester.