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A head start for young students in Carroll University’s PASOS program

Beginning in the spring of 2015, Carroll University opened its doors to tomorrow’s college students with PASOS, or Preparing and Advancing Students for Opportunities in Science. Ten eighth-grade students from Bruce Guadalupe Community School (BGCS), a grade K-8 charter school in Milwaukee, will receive a head start towards pursuing a career in nursing, physical therapy, or the physician assistant field.

PASOS is a partnership between the United Community Center and Carroll University.

The program addresses priorities shared by both partners. PASOS students will gain exposure to in-demand careers in health and medical sciences. The predominantly Hispanic student population of Bruce Guadalupe Community School enriches the diversity of the Carroll student body while addressing the disparity between the low numbers of Spanish-speaking health care workers and the growing Hispanic population. A 2012 Wisconsin Registered Nurse Survey Report found that only 11 percent of Wisconsin nurses speak Spanish. “Through working with BGCS and the United Community Center, health and medical professions will be highlighted in the community,” said Jane Hopp, dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Health Sciences at Carroll University, “as well as provide practice opportunities in various communities.”

Student participants, many of whom would be first-generation college students, are accepted into PASOS based on test scores, grades, recommendations and essay submissions. PASOS’ innovative education model has a built-in component to ensure student participants’ success from the start of high school to the end of college. Throughout that time, Carroll’s College of Natural Sciences and Health Sciences’ faculty and students will work with PASOS students to maintain the program’s academic standards within the university’s highly competitive program. The first 10 students selected for the program will be announced in the summer of 2015.