Student Shadow Day helps high school students

April 1, 2003

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PLATTEVILLE-Now that spring is here, many high school juniors are looking ahead to college. At the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, juniors can get a jump-start on college life during an annual April event called Student Shadow Day.

Currently in its third year, UWP's Shadow Day has proved to be an effective way to connect high school students with college living. Plans for this year's shadow day, set for Wednesday, April 9, include pairing high school juniors with UWP student-mentors for the day.

Students eat meals with their mentors and attend classes during the morning. New this year will be a tour of the Pioneer Farm. Afternoon breakout sessions include a UWP student panel, choosing careers and majors and an overview of college life.

The day ends with a wrap-up session, student survey and the distribution of goodie bags to take back home.

High school guidance counselors who accompany their students will be involved in campus tours, an assistant dean's panel and a relaxation session in Williams Fieldhouse.

Boscobel High School guidance counselor Rhonda Scallon had high praise for the shadow day program. Scallon brought 15 Boscobel juniors to campus last spring. "They absolutely loved it," said Scallon.

"It's a great way to introduce college life to high school students," said Scallon. "It's not just a routine tour. They get to see college life with another student."

The majority of those who participated in the shadow day last year plan to attend UWP this fall, said Scallon. It's not too surprising UWP is the college of choice for Boscobel students. The shadow day was an eventful, positive experience, Scallon said. "It's an automatic connection for them."

The event has grown in popularity, according to Kia Jorgenson, UWP student recruitment advisor. There were 11 school districts participating in 2001 and 13 last year. This year 17 districts will be involved, Jorgenson said, but schools are limited to bringing five students.

Scallon said Boscobel's five-student selection was not easy. "We had so many - about 14 - interested in attending the shadow day we made the choice by drawing names out of a hat."

Student Shadow Day was inaugurated with the assistance of a UW-Platteville Foundation Opportunity Grant. Jorgenson is justifiably proud of its success.

The assistant deans of the three colleges on the UWP campus work closely with the admission and student recruitment offices to provide a day that the high school students college students and guidance counselors will enjoy but also will walk away with new information about UWP and it's programs services, said Jorgenson.

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