Students and faculty are back on campus at Mount Mary University on Milwaukee’s northwest side. The all-women’s Catholic university has nearly 1,400 students, among them, many students from diverse backgrounds and financially disadvantaged situations.
The school just received a $2.6 million federal grant that aims to make sure some of those students can finish their course of study.
The Succeed Scholars program is run through the federal Health Resources and Service Administration, and its goal is to increase diversity among students getting master’s degrees in counseling.
It’s part of a larger effort the school has undertaken to ensure it continues to serve their diverse body of students. The project is being led by Carrie King, the director of the counseling graduate program, and faculty member Tammy Scheidegger.
"We draw a certain type of student to Mount Mary, and they are the type that really wants to live the mission here. They want to go back into the communities that they grew up in," says King. "So we need to provide the supports, academic and personal, professional supports that they need to be successful."
They hope by helping a diverse group of students graduate from the counseling program, they can better serve communities in need of these counselors.
"[People] may be seeking out counseling, but they may not be utilizing it for the full extent of what they might need, or what they might want. So individuals will drop out of counseling before they've had positive outcomes," says Scheidegger. "This is going to change that dynamic."