“Start Right” to Boost College Readiness

A group of Green Bay area high school students will soon be picturing themselves on a college campus, thanks to Start Right, a collaborative program that will pair St. Norbert College students with freshmen and sophomores attending Oneida Nation High School.

The program, funded by an $81,565 grant from Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation, will enable six St. Norbert students to mentor approximately 40 Native Americans attending Oneida Nation during the 2013-14 academic year.

Tutors will spend time in the high school’s language arts classroom and provide after-school assistance twice a week to help improve the high schoolers’ English scores and strengthen their reading and writing skills. In addition, the high school participants will be able to tour area college campuses.

“Hopefully the high school students will gain confidence interacting with our college students and realize that attending college is possible for them,” says Bridgit Martin, director of multicultural student services at St. Norbert. “Plus our student tutors will be leaders, mentors and role models for the high school students, not just academic resources.”

Martin says the college hopes to recruit St. Norbert multicultural students for the jobs, particularly those who identify as Native American, so they have the chance to stay connected with, and give back to, their community.

“We know the program is not only going to make a huge impact on the high school population out in Oneida, but also on the students here at St. Norbert,” says Martin. “It’s going to be a great relationship, and a great opportunity for us to partner with the tribe.”

“Start Right” is one of 34 programs funded by Great Lakes’ College Ready initiative, which recently awarded more than $4 million in grants across Wisconsin and Minnesota aimed at enhancing the college readiness of students from traditionally underserved backgrounds.

July 2, 2013