Pathway for Success program wins Lydecker Diversity Award

November 08, 2011

Lydecker Winners 2011The Pathway for Success program at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater has won the Ann Lydecker Educational Diversity Award, the fourth time in six years the university has received the prestigious honor.

The award is bestowed by the Wisconsin State Council on Affirmative Action and the Office of State Employment Relations.

"Winning this award is an honor for our students," said Marijuana Sawyer, Academic Advisor for the Pathway for Success program.  "They are the reason for the success of this program."

Developed in early 2009, Pathway for Success is designed for students who enter the university needing developmental classes, based on their ACT scores and high school grades.

Students are required to attend study sessions, participate in mandatory group meetings and meet with their academic adviser three times a semester. Sawyer says that while some students are reluctant about the requirements at first, they often continue using the resources even after they finish the program.

Pathway for Success serves a diverse array of students: About 59 percent African American, 26 percent white, 9 percent Latino and 6 percent Southeast Asian.

The program's goal is to help students succeed, stay in school and graduate. Nearly half the Pathway students maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Sawyer says the program's success and receiving the Lydecker Award reflect UW-Whitewater's efforts to be inclusive and promote its diversity efforts.

"It says that this institution cares about all of our students. We have a responsibility to the students that we admit to the university... creating multiple paths for them in terms of how they learn, their academic preparation, and their current and future academic needs.  I'm pleased that the university has taken this step to support students who may benefit from a more personalized educational experience," said Sawyer.

Ten Pathway students joined Sawyer and other staff members in Madison this week to celebrate and accept the award.

Pathway for Success currently serves 33 students. Committee members are Matthew Aschenbrener, Richard McGregory, Samantha Samreth, Jodi Hare-Paynter, Pamela Tanner and Sawyer.

UW-Whitewater also won the Lydecker Award in 2010 for its Summer Business Institute, in 2008 for the King/Chavez Scholars Program, and in 2006 for the McNair Scholars Program.  The university received a program achievement award in 2009 for its Pre-College Program.


Sara Kuhl