The Summer Business Institute is this year’s recipient of the Ann Lydecker Educational Diversity Award.
The Summer Business Institute is a program geared toward helping students of color transition from high school to college.
Since its inception three years ago, the institute has helped improved the retention of information in colored students. It has helped improve their cumulative GPAs as well.
Freda Briscoe, director of Minority and Business and Teacher Preparations Programs, said the Summer Business Institute is more than just an introduction to the College of Business and Economics for the students.
“The program was designed [to] expose students to the College of Business and Economics,” Briscoe said. “It gets them exposed to the college campus before they come in the fall. It’s really a summer bridge program for those students.”
The Lydecker Award is the third award that the Summer Business Institute has received. In February, the program was awarded the UW System Diversity Award worth $5,000. This past summer, the program also won the Closing the Achievement Gap Grant, worth $55,000.
These grants have helped the program expand throughout the year so it can provide a greater intensity to its students.
The Summer Business Institute now has a new student seminar set aside for its students that pairs them with mentors and gets them involved in student organizations in the College of Business and Economics.
The program also provides one-on-one tutoring for math classes, a one-credit course on Ethics and Critical Thinking, and internships for its students in the summer.
Briscoe said she is very grateful for all the support that has helped keep the Summer Business Institute going.
“I feel very appreciative because we are doing some things that we would not be able to do without the support of the right management [or] without the support of the dean, the faculty and staff in the College of Business and Economics,” Briscoe said. “I’ve seen a close-knit support that has come from the different sectors of that college that weren’t necessarily there before. It has given us a real edge in terms of working with our students.”
This is the third time in five years that a UW-Whitewater program has been awarded the Lydecker Award. The McNair Scholars program received the award in 2006, and the King/Chavez program received it in 2008.