Each year, thirty new students enroll in a two-semester UW-Madison program taught by award-winning faculty in English literature, philosophy, American history, and art history. The students receive free tuition, textbooks, childcare, and a weekly dinner. One-on-one tutoring is also available on Monday and Tuesday nights for both adults and children. In class, students read, write about, and engage in lively discussions of Emily Dickinson, Martin Luther King, Walt Whitman, Shakespeare, Lorraine Hansberry and more. Through exposure to these great works of literature, philosophy, history, and art, Odyssey students gain six credits from UW-Madison, skills in critical thinking, a sense of empowerment, and a voice.
Over 90% of Odyssey Project students complete the rigorous program each year (an unparalleled completion rate for a program of this kind). After Odyssey, 75% of students continue to enroll in post-secondary education. To date, approximately one-quarter of students have earned a college degree or a technical/professional certificate.
Check out a list of works covered in the class here.