MADISON –– Participation in precollege programs increases the probability of students of color graduating from high school and encourages them to continue their education at an institution of higher learning, according to the ninth and last report of the Design for Diversity plan which will be presented to the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents at their April 8th meeting.

A lower high school completion rate, inadequate financial aid, and a lack of precollege opportunities contribute to low college enrollment and graduation rates for students of color. UW System institutions and the Multicultural Information Center (MIC) have been working vigorously to provide youth of color with the necessary prerequisites, information and academic skills for higher education through precollege programs.

In Fall 1998, 2,253 new targeted undergraduates of color enrolled in the UW System, an increase of 6.3%. Overall, in Fall 1998 there were 9,945 students of color in the UW System or 7.5% of total undergraduate enrollment. Between 1996-97 and 1997-98, Bachelor degrees earned by students of color grew 7.4%.

While the 10-year life span of Design for Diversity is concluding, the UW System’s commitment to expanded opportunity remains strong. Plan 2008 is the successor to Design for Diversity; it builds upon the experience gained in the past decade, and offers a vision of a better, more diverse UW System for the decade ahead.


Lorre Kolb
(608) 262-7353