UWFox TRIO Program Students to Sign 'Governor's Covenant'
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Eighth grade University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley TRIO students from River View Middle School in Kaukauna and Maplewood Middle School in Menasha had planned a regular campus visit at St. Norbert College on Thursday, April 17 with the intention of learning more about a local four-year college. Instead, they recently found out they will have the unique opportunity to meet Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle.
Governor Doyle is visiting St. Norbert College to present the Wisconsin Covenant Program, which was announced in 2006 as a program that encourages students to attend college. Selected UWFox TRIO students will sign the program pledge right along side Governor Doyle during a ceremony in St. Norbert’s Fort Howard Theatre between 10:30 a.m. and 11:15 a.m.
According to Doyle, “The covenant provides hope and vision to all eighth-graders that if they work hard and do their part in high school, we’ll do our part and guarantee them a spot in higher education and a financial package to make it affordable.”
This college visit to St. Norbert will be an extra special field trip for the students. By signing the Wisconsin Covenant pledge, the students promise to maintain at least a B average throughout high school, take college or technical preparatory classes needed for their desired career field and apply for financial aid. In exchange, the program promises them admission into any Wisconsin institution of higher learning — university, private college or technical school.
The goals of the Wisconsin Covenant Program parallel those of the UWFox TRIO Educational Talent Search program. The federally-funded TRIO program, also implemented in 2006, provides pre-college services to over 620 students from the Kaukauna and Menasha school districts. Many of the participants come from low-income or first generation families. Students in the TRIO program show great potential to go on to college after high school but need some extra support. The Wisconsin Covenant Program will help that additional support.
“Our goal is to have every one of our TRIO students become a Wisconsin Covenant Scholar,” says Kerry Johnson, the TRIO Middle School Program Coordinator. “We hope the program will encourage them to study hard, get involved in their community, be a good citizen and eventually, go onto college.”