Leadership, Retention, Academic Excellence

Center for Academic Excellence (CAE)
The center serves first-generation, low-income, and multicultural underrepresented students within the College of Letters & Science. CAE fosters an inclusive teaching and learning environment that helps students reach their academic potential, attain undergraduate degrees, and realize their human promise as they become citizens of a global community.
Center for Educational Opportunity (CeO)
The Center for Educational Opportunity is a federally- and state-funded center that provides academic and ancillary support to students who are the first-generation in their family to come to college, students from economically vulnerable families, or students with disabilities. CeO houses the federally-funded program TRiO Student Support Services.
Chancellor's Scholars Program
For nearly 30 years, the Chancellor’s Scholarship Program (CSP) has helped create a diverse learning environment on campus for students, faculty, and staff. As one of the campus’s strategic initiatives, it helps attract and develop gifted and talented individuals from underrepresented minority groups and educationally/culturally disadvantaged backgrounds.
The CSP is a four-year merit-based undergraduate scholarship program that enriches the collegiate experience. High school seniors who meet eligibility criteria and plan to enroll at UW-Madison the fall following their final year are encouraged to apply.



First Wave/OMAI
The First Wave Hip Hop and Urban Arts Learning Community is a cutting-edge multicultural artistic program for incoming students which offers a four-year full tuition scholarship to the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Bringing together young artists and leaders from across the U.S and beyond, the First Wave Learning Community offers students the opportunity to live, study and create together in a close-knit, dynamic campus community. Administered by the Office of Multicultural Arts Initiatives (OMAI), the First Wave Learning Community is the first university program in the country centered on urban arts, spoken word and hip-hop culture.
McNair Scholars Program
The McNair Scholars Program assists undergraduates in obtaining the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in graduate school. This national program provides research opportunities, research stipends and extensive preparation to create a bridge between undergraduate and graduate education.

Each year, approximately 25 highly qualified students interested in post-graduate study participate in the McNair Scholars program. The goal of the McNair Scholars Program is to create a diverse academic environment by increasing the number of traditionally underrepresented students in UW–Madison graduate programs and ultimately the professorate.  

This federally-funded program accepts applicants from low-income backgrounds who are first-generation college students and targeted minority applicants.

PEOPLE Program
PEOPLE is a pre-college pipeline for students of color and low-income students, most of whom are the first in their families to potentially attend college. Their journey prepares them to apply, be successfully admitted and enroll at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.



A "posse" is a small, diverse group of talented students, carefully selected and trained, to serve as a catalyst for increased individual and community development. University of Wisconsin-Madison was in 2002 the first major public research institution to launch this unique program.
Posse identifies leadership talent, ability to work in a team with people from diverse backgrounds and a desire to succeed. Once selected, Posse Scholars enroll in a 32-week training program during their senior high school year. They arrive on campus academically prepared and motivated to foster positive social change.
School/College Diversity Office and Resources