Dr. Tim Slekar, Dean of the School of Education at Edgewood College, welcomes C2C students to get the year started. Ms. Doyle, who developed the course, is to his left.
By Jaren Sturdevant
Former Wisconsin First Lady Jessica Doyle became a member of the Edgewood College community in 2011, when she began volunteering for the Committed to College council. Committed to College, or C2C, is a program at the College that helps students from Madison public schools learn the skills needed to pursue higher education.
Inspired by the program, and a former Madison public school teacher herself, Ms. Doyle has developed a COR class called Precollege Coaching and Mentoring. The goal of the year-long course is to guide young students in the community to attend college. Students from the College work at least one hour a week with local high school students from many different backgrounds. “Our current students are ‘coaches.’ They are matched in the community with somebody who is of college potential, but who may not get to college without some kind of help.”
The coach and scholar work one-on-one to improve studying, organization and test-taking skills. “The biggest joy is clearly seeing that the eighth, ninth and tenth grade Scholars who are matched with an Edgewood College coach really get attached,” Doyle said. “They really admire Edgewood College students, and our students really make a huge difference in the lives of these young people.” She believes the coaches may provide even more motivation than traditional teachers.
Not only is this course helping the Scholars, it is helping Edgewood College students as well. Seeing the Scholars succeed and contributing to their success is inspiring, and they are able to see the value of serving others first-hand.
Precollege Coaching and Mentoring is an excellent representation of the College’s core values. Students commit to helping younger students on a one-on-one basis. The C2C Program – and Doyle’s class – can provide the push needed to succeed both in college, and in life.
(Editor's Note: Jaren Sturdevant is a junior, majoring in Communications Studies.)