Program addresses the computer science workforce shortage in Northeast Wisconsin
The Rising Phoenix Early College High School Program is expanding through a new collaboration between UW-Green Bay and the Computer Science Talent Ecosystem Youth (CSTEY). The Rising Phoenix Computer Science Pathway program is modeled after the inaugural Rising Phoenix cohort with the Manitowoc Public School District that launched in Fall 2020 by expanding the program across the CESA 7 region.
According to CSTEY, computer science is one of the fastest growing careers in the region with at least 2,000 new jobs created by 2022. To keep up with new job creation, the region requires a higher output of computer scientists with bachelor’s degrees, who are ready to meet computing needs of employers. The Rising Phoenix Computer Science Pathway fast-forwards bachelor degree attainment by providing the opportunity for students to get a two-year head start by completing an Associate of Arts and Sciences (AAS) degree while in high school.
“We are proud to expand the Rising Phoenix program with a specialized pathway in computer science in order to provide skilled computer scientists to employers in the region,” said UW-Green Bay Chancellor Michael Alexander. “Rising Phoenix strengthens the bridge between school districts, UW-Green Bay and area employers in order to fill critical workforce shortages in the region. We are proud to partner with CSTEY and their partners to provide innovative workforce solutions.”
Current sophomores from participating high schools in CESA 7 will have the opportunity to apply for the Rising Phoenix Program and enroll during their junior and senior years of high school. When admitted to the program, students will be concurrently enrolled at their high school and UW-Green Bay. Rising Phoenix courses are selected to meet Wisconsin high school graduation requirements and the UW-Green Bay Associate of Arts and Sciences (AAS) degree. Students are offered a flexible combination of courses that include existing dual credit options offered in each student’s high school, UW-Green Bay courses offered at campuses in Green Bay, Marinette, Manitowoc and Sheboygan and online courses. In this way, students can take courses and participate in extra-curricular activities at their high school. With Rising Phoenix, students get to experience college coursework in the familiar environment of their high school with dedicated support and gain confidence by learning alongside other college students at a college campus.
Students enrolling in the program as high school juniors will have the opportunity to earn an AAS degree by the time they graduate high school. Students who complete an AAS degree will have the first two years of a bachelor’s degree completed as well as 12 credits in computer science. Students will earn a digital badge in Computer Science Principles to validate and provide a shareable record of their accomplishment. The AAS will apply whether students decide to continue at UW-Green Bay, transfer to a different college or university or enter the workforce upon graduation with an earned college credential. Students’ tuition and textbook costs will be covered by their school district through the Early College Credit Program and UW-Green Bay Dual Enrollment Access Academy.
“We are excited with the opportunities this partnership will present to students in our services area,” said CESA 7 Agency Administrator Jeff Dickert. “We know jobs in the computer science field are in high demand in Wisconsin and this creates another way for our schools to prepare our kids to be college and career ready.”
Committed student support and coaching are the main advantages of the program. Every student enrolled will work consistently with UW-Green Bay’s Rising Phoenix student success coach, who will:
- Assist students through the admissions process
- Facilitate academic advising
- Provide social and emotional support
- Serve as a transition specialist upon graduation (college applications, scholarships, FAFSA and financial aid assistance).
To learn more about the program and express interest, school districts in CESA 7 should visit https://www.uwgb.edu/computer-science-districts/ for more information and to express interest in providing this option for students.
BY SUE BODILLY
About the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
Established in 1965, UW-Green Bay is a public institution serving 9,276 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students and nearly 80,000 continuing education enrollees each year across all campus locations. We educate students from pre-college through retirement and offer 200+ degrees, programs and certificates. UW-Green Bay graduates are resilient, inclusive, sustaining and engaged members of their communities, ready to rise to fearlessly face challenges, solve problems and embrace diverse ideas and people. With four campus locations, the University welcomes students from every corner of the world. In 2020, UW-Green Bay was the fastest growing UW school in Wisconsin. For more information, visit www.uwgb.edu.