Over the past summer, students in the Wisconsin Educational Opportunity Program (WEOP) got to experience college firsthand through the Historically Black Colleges and University Tour. The Milwaukee WEOP office sponsored 23 students and 3 chaperones to attend a college tour of Historically Black Colleges and Universities in Tennessee, Georgia and Kentucky. The students were high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors that are part of GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs).
As the saying goes, teenagers need to “see it to believe it.” Through in-person exposure, students can grasp the realities of college life and the opportunities it provides. The GEAR UP program gives students exactly that - an opportunity to realize themselves in college and how higher education can transform their future.
Students on the tour learned about the history of black colleges and universities. They attended educational excursions to the Mammoth Caves in Kentucky and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. National Site in Georgia. Students were able to see the historical implication of these sites and understand how important travel is to the discovery of history and culture.
Visiting the colleges left students with a strong sense of commitment to identify schools of interest, schedule campus tours, and how to discover options for potential career paths. The tours allowed Wisconsin students to realize potential opportunities in pursuing a college degree, while learning about the significance of the civil rights movement and its connection to historically black colleges and universities across the United States.