The UW Odyssey Project is a program of the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Division of Continuing Studies.
The Division offers a wide variety of learning opportunities for nontraditional students and lifelong learners including credit classes, professional certificates, distance learning, educational travel, and much more.
The UW-Odyssey Project offers a University of Wisconsin-Madison humanities class for adult students facing economic barriers to college. Odyssey provides 30 students each year with a challenging college humanities class with award-winning faculty. Students receive free tuition, textbooks, childcare, and a weekly dinner through support from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, grants, and private donations.
Adult students read, write about, and engage in lively discussions of Emily Dickinson, Martin Luther King, Walt Whitman, Shakespeare, Gandhi and more. Through exposure to these great works of literature, philosophy, history, and art, Odyssey students gain six credits in English from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, skills in critical thinking, a sense of empowerment, and a voice.
Odyssey has been the catalyst that enables many adults to transform their lives and find a career direction. After the course, the Odyssey Project continues support and advising for those who continue their college educations.
Odyssey students report transformative outcomes from their participation in the program. They also report that they read more to their children, feel that they are better parents, have more hope about their own future, are more likely to vote and become involved in their communities, and have made plans to continue their educations and/or seek job training.
Most students who participate in the UW-Odyssey Project are from ethnic minorities. Many are overcoming the obstacles of single parenthood, homelessness, drug and alcohol addiction, incarceration, depression, and domestic abuse.