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Institute for Learning Partnership

Category Archive: Phuture Phoenix

Great Lake grant will boost Phuture Phoenix programs

 

 

GREEN BAY — The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s Phuture Phoenix program has been awarded a one-year, $177,579 grant to expand and focus efforts to prepare disadvantaged middle and high school students in Northeastern Wisconsin for higher education.

Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation (Great Lakes) announced the award Monday, Feb 20. Through community investments, Great Lakes funds programs that foster workforce development and improve economic competitiveness by increasing the number of disadvantaged students who start and complete a postsecondary degree or certificate.

“This award not only demonstrates support for the mission of Phuture Phoenix, but more importantly it will allow us to increase and improve our efforts on behalf of young people in Northeastern Wisconsin,” said Phuture Phoenix Director Kim Desotell.

The grant will provide funds for a grant coordinator and 10 Phuture Phoenix Phellows, pre-service education majors who oversee more than 275 pre-service education students who tutor and mentor in 10 middle and high schools in the Green Bay area. It includes a significant research component to collect data and measure the program’s effectiveness.
The grant also provides for three ambitious pilot programs:

— Parent Training will provide programing to help parents prepare their child for college. It will focus upon the parents of minority, first-generation and other disadvantaged populations. Research shows that parent support is critical to student success in attaining post-secondary education.

— After School Academic Tutoring will be offered at Green Bay West High School for struggling students to help them maintain passing grades. The desired effect will be to provide “just in time” assistance so students don’t fall behind and into a pattern of hopelessness.

— ACT Preparation for disadvantaged students at Green Bay West High School will include mentoring and academic support to help guide students through test preparation activities. Students who are effectively prepared for college entrance exams perform better on these critical tests and enjoy more opportunity for postsecondary education.

“The Phuture Phoenix program’s focus on academic enrichment plays a crucial role in helping disadvantaged students prepare for — and succeed in — postsecondary education,” said Amy Kerwin, Great Lakes’ Chief Educational Opportunities Officer. “We are pleased to provide funding to support both the expansion of their services and the evaluation of the program’s impact on the students served.”

The Phuture Phoenix program began in 2002, originating from a conversation between Ginny Riopelle, a leader in the Green Bay community, and Cyndie Shepard, the wife of former UW-Green Bay Chancellor Bruce Shepard. Both were struck by the fact that many children from low-income families don’t believe higher education can be in their future. Shepard and Riopelle decided to bring fifth-graders to the campus to offer a first glimpse of college life.

From that beginning the Phuture Phoenix program has evolved steadily. Last year Phuture Phoenix welcomed its 10,000th fifth-grade visitor. A related Education course has been added to the UW-Green Bay curriculum and each student is required to perform 35 hours of tutoring/mentoring in the field. Also, Phuture Phoenix now has been replicated at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash., the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and Silver Lake College in Manitowoc. Thanks to community generosity, there are now students attending UW-Green Bay on Phuture Phoenix scholarships.

While the Phuture Phoenix program has grown, so has the need. When Phuture Phoenix was initiated, about 30 percent of Green Bay students were receiving free-or reduced-price lunches. That number has almost doubled in the past decade. At West High School, where the three pilot programs will be implemented, 66 percent of the student body receives free-or reduced-price lunches.

“The success of Phuture Phoenix isn’t determined solely by how many students attend UW-Green Bay, but whether we can help young people growing up in challenging circumstances pursue their own post-secondary options,” Desotell said. “This grant will support our efforts to help students develop the tools and confidence to help themselves and pursue their dreams.”

Phuture Phoenix is a program within the Institute for Learning Partnership at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. For more information about Phuture Phoenix or the Institute for Learning Partnership, contact us at (920) 465-5555 or Learnpart@uwgb.edu.

Knowing that education has the power to change lives for the better, Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation and Affiliates helps millions of students pay for college and manage their student loans. Through Community Investments, Great Lakes funds programs that foster workforce development and improve economic competitiveness by increasing the number of disadvantaged students who start and complete a postsecondary degree or certificate. For additional information, visit mygreatlakes.org.

 

Phuture Phoenix participate in FAFSA event

Phuture Phoenix was among representatives who visited Green Bay West High School to help students complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Here’s an article from the Green Bay Press-Gazette about the event

Sharing the good news of 2011

When our friends at University Communications began assessing the top 10 “good news” stories of 2011, they took notice of what’s happening in our neighborhood: Phuture Phoenix welcomes its 10,000th visitor, and UW-Green Bay’s Education program was named the best in the UW System. All it all, despite some rough patches, it was a good year. And we’ve got more “good news” on the horizon. Read more here.

Phuture Phoenix watch Phoenix rally for victory

Several hundred Phuture Phoenix students were welcomed at the Resch Center on Sat. Jan. 14. Here’s a slide show that was featured Inside.

Yanke gets Press-Gazette nod for Whitney Radder Award

UW-Green Bay student Mark Yanke, who was presented with the Whitney Radder Phuture Phoenix Phenomenal Role Model Award for the fall semester, was featured in the Dec. 27 Green Bay Press-Gazette. Well done Mark!

 

Education remains a priority for Wisconsin, says Dean Mattison

Dean Sue Joseph Mattison offers observastions on education and the Institute.

In mid-summer, Sue Joseph Mattison, an academic administrator with experience in health and education, assumed her post as UW-Green Bay Dean of the College of Professional Studies. Mattison, who has a distinguished record as a scholar and academic leader, oversees academic offerings and community services in the areas of teacher education, business administration, nursing and social work, majors that account for about one-third of UW-Green Bay’s 6,600 students. Additionally, her position entails leadership in developing community partnerships with professional organizations in those fields. Here’s Mattison’s initial thoughts about education in Northeastern Wisconsin:

Q. What is your impression of education in this region?

Wisconsin is known for its strong support of education at all levels. It’s been a challenging time for educators, and certainly more resources are needed to support education, but I’m overwhelmed by the professionalism of educators in Green Bay and the Northeastern Wisconsin region, and how they work to maintain a quality curriculum for their students.  I believe education is still a top priority for residents of the state.  

 

Q. What are your thoughts about the Institute for Learning Partnership and professional development for educators?

I see how every Institute staff member is extremely focused and committed to serving the needs of students and educators in the northeast Wisconsin region, by supporting educators working to solve challenging issues within their own schools and districts.  Learning about the outstanding projects completed by in-service educators/graduates of the Professional Development Certificate, as well as relevant continuing educational opportunities with the ILP Fall Conference, shows the critical importance of the work done by Institute staff.  In addition, the overwhelming success of the Phuture Phoenix program is resulting in expanded educational attainment for students in Green Bay and surrounding communities.  I had a great time mingling with the Phuture Phoenix fifth graders, and got caught up in the excitement during their field trip day on the UW-Green Bay campus this fall.  In all aspects of their work, I have been extremely impressed by the ILP staff members.

 

Q. Could you share some of your thoughts about preparing future teachers at a time when there are so many challenges confronting the education profession?

I understand the enormous challenges faced by educators, but even so – I can think of no better profession than to be an educator.  My daughter just started college this fall, and is majoring in music education.  She said she wants to be able to instill the love of music in high school kids, just as that love of music was brought into her own life.  That is exactly the kind of educators we want to prepare – those who would do the job for the love of inspiring others.  And yet there is no doubt in my mind that we must hold greater esteem for the importance of those who choose to be educators, and the many challenges they face.  I saw a very illuminating cartoon about the use of standardized testing as a way to measure teacher performance – an elephant, monkey, turtle, and other animals were standing in front of the teacher’s desk, and the teacher said, “Okay, now for our final exam, go climb that tree.”  The sad part is the teacher will face severe consequences when the elephant and turtle can’t climb the tree. 

Q. Do you worry the political and economic climate will discourage some students from becoming educators and drive others from their chosen profession?

I do worry about the effect of the current political and economic climate.  However, the people of Wisconsin have a lot of common sense, and still recognize the importance of their political and economic support of teachers – the economic, social, business, political, public health, and cultural future of our state depends on an educated population.  We will think of new ways to work together and keep moving forward. 

Q. Could you share some of your ideas on how the Institute could better serve the needs of the region?

To address changes in legislation and teacher professional development compensation, the Institute staff is meeting with area school district administrators and educators to develop innovative professional development opportunities.  The population of Green Bay and Northeastern Wisconsin is rapidly becoming more diverse, which brings many interesting educational opportunities. Education faculty, ILP staff, and I have been meeting with community leaders to begin to address the needs of diverse learners through innovative curriculum for pre-service and in-service teachers.  I am very proud of the entire Institute staff, how committed they are to serving the needs of educators and schools in the region, and their creative vision to move the Institute forward in the face of multiple challenges – truly an amazing group of individuals.

 

Phuture Phoenix featured in Green Bay Press Gazette

Click here to view the article as a PDF!

Phuture Phoenix Day 1! October 11, 2011

Phuture Phoenix Pilot Program at Jefferson Elementary School

Community needs to encourage higher education

To read Kim Desotell’s column in the Green Bay Press-Gazette go here: http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/article/20110823/GPG0706/108230473/1270/GPG0602/Guest-column-Encourage-all-kids-go-college