For 41 students of color, the fall semester at UW-Stout started a little early.
While classes officially began Wednesday, Sept. 4, new students who were part of Stoutward Bound began more than two weeks earlier, Aug. 18, taking part in special activities and starting a psychology class together.
Stoutward Bound, which has existed for more than a decade, brings together Asian, black, Native and Latino first-year students to help get them acclimated to campus and the community. The program also provides structured activities throughout the year.
During the spring semester, Stoutward Bound members take a speech class together.
“This program is a model of inclusive excellence to elevate diversity, campus climate and equity,” said Barb Miller, director of Multicultural Student Services. “Students often talk about Stoutward Bound like a family, where students support and challenge each other while making difference in their lives and strengthening our campus community.”
As part of a living and learning community, Stoutward Bound students receive peer mentoring, enrichment workshops and take part in study groups. They also benefit from intercultural development, financial literacy, socio-cultural connections “and an empowering leadership training that many refer to as life-changing, years later – even at graduation,” Miller said.
Stoutward Bound members arrived two weeks early in August to help them get acclimated to campus and the community.