With three-quarters of Odyssey graduates taking additional college courses after Odyssey, there is an enormous opportunity to work more closely with these students on their education pathways to increase college retention and graduation rates.
Onward Odyssey addresses this need by connecting alumni with other UW-Madison courses taught on or off the UW campus. In the past, these courses have included a Special Education Paraprofessional training course, a Food Systems course taught by Professor Alfonso Morales, an African American Studies course taught by Professor Craig Werner, Creative Writing courses taught by Erin Celello, History courses taught by Ben Shannon, and more. In addition to these courses, Dr. Kevin Mullen has offered an English 100 class to Odyssey alumni focusing on intensive writing skills for the past several years. Onward Odyssey offers a supportive learning community that leverages the strong relationships that Odyssey Project alumni have with each other and with faculty and staff.
In addition to courses, Odyssey can provide some direct financial support to students to supplement their financial aid. This helps students that are struggling to pursue degrees while often supporting a family. Odyssey, with the help of campus partners, offers academic, career, financial, and personal counseling as well as one-on-one tutoring once a week. If Odyssey helps to light a spark within students, Onward Odyssey is focused on feeding this flame.