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Diversity Program Grant for ACT Preparation Awarded to UW-Eau Claire Continuing Education and Partners

RELEASED: April 28, 2006

EAU CLAIRE — University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Continuing Education, in partnership with the Boys and Girls Club of the Greater Chippewa Valley, Upward Bound, GEAR UP, UW-Eau Claire's Multicultural Affairs Office and the Eau Claire Area Hmong Mutual Assistance Association, was recently awarded a $7,500 UW-Extension Diversity Program Development Initiative grant to launch a free ACT preparation program for minority and disadvantaged high school students in the Chippewa Valley.

To enhance programming and more efficiently use the UW-Extension grant funds, UW-Eau Claire Continuing Education will partner with UW-La Crosse Continuing Education, which recently received a DPDI grant to develop a similar program in the La Crosse community. The two campuses will work together in planning and evaluating their programs, developing curriculum and sharing campus expertise.

Classes will be offered before the national ACT exam dates in fall and spring beginning in September.

"In working with parents, school counselors and area precollege programs, I learned what a need we have in our community for affordable ACT preparation," said Libby Thurston, youth outreach specialist with UW-Eau Claire Continuing Education and coordinator of the grant application. "Since ACT scores often determine a student's eligibility for college admission, a higher score can open more doors to students in the future."

The UW-Extension Diversity Program Development Initiative provides funds for development and implementation of new diversity programs and services. Participation is limited to the Division of Outreach and E-Learning Extension's campus-based partners throughout the UW System and to the division's internal units, Learning Innovations and the School for Workers.

"With this funding, UW-Extension has demonstrated its commitment to creating opportunities for Wisconsin students," said George Kroeninger, Continuing Education director. "Through strategic collaborations and targeted programming, we hope to put those dollars to work for our community's young people."

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