As we aspire to achieve the highest levels of excellence at the university, our dedication to academic excellence for the public good is inseparable from our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). We recognized that, through focused efforts, we needed to build a more diverse student community on campus and equip students of all backgrounds with the support and opportunities necessary for their success.
During the 2016-2017 academic year, the university initiated the first cohort in Wolverine Pathways (WP), an innovative pipeline program focused on creating a path to college readiness for middle and high school students currently living in the Detroit Public, Southfield Public and Ypsilanti Community school districts. WP presents Saturday sessions along with summer day sessions that focus on mathematics, science, language arts, and life skills trainings. Wolverine Pathways Scholars who successfully complete the program, then apply to the University of Michigan and are admitted receive a full, four-year scholarship for tuition and fees plus additional aid, based on their financial need.
The Wolverine Pathways program currently enrolls 733 scholars across our three partnering communities of Southfield, Ypsilanti, and Detroit. This past year also marked the program’s first graduating class, with graduates being admitted to four-year colleges across the nation. Of the 88 scholars, 80 are attending a 4-year college or university this fall (91%). Of these, 45 are attending U-M Ann Arbor and 15 are attending U-M Dearborn.
The program continues to link the power of U-M’s academic and research enterprise, the resources and innovations of community partners and the instructional expertise of secondary teachers to support scholars’ academic success, college admission and career exploration. During Summer 2018, a comprehensive assessment of the Wolverine Access program’s progress to date was launched, with an eye to enhancing program design and improving outcomes.
We continue to build on the university’s heritage as a vanguard champion of diversity, equity and inclusion. Our community has long understood that excellence is not possible without diversity in the broadest sense of the word, and that we can make our greatest contribution to the creation of new knowledge by building an environment in which all our community members can flourish. Our commitment to engage in a 5-Year DEI plan reflects our shared aspirations as well as our understanding that, while talent may be present everywhere, opportunity is not.