UW Dream Project

How does Dream Project work?

Dream Project mentors meet three times a week once in a lecture, once by high school group called a breakout, and once with their high school group at their assigned high school to work with students.

The UW Classroom

Through lecture and breakout, student mentors in Dream Project will focus their discussions around mentorship strategies, social justice, empowerment, and civil society. Discussions will examine questions of poverty, inequality, class disparities, social dimensions (race, ethnicity, class, gender, immigration status, disability, age, sexual orientation, and family structure), the role of historical oppression, individual versus structural explanations for poverty, and solution-focused and strengths-based perspectives for upward mobility. The theoretical approach of the class will focus on the relationship between educational opportunity and social mobility and between volunteerism and civic engagement. The program as a whole aims to combine the understanding that mentors gain of educational opportunity and social mobility with the experiential learning that they receive from their work in the high schools.

UW student mentors attending a Dream Project lecture

High School Visit

Each week, Dream Project student mentors will meet with high school students to work on their post-secondary plans. The content of each visit will vary depending on that week’s focus, but the goal is to provide as much support as the students need. In general, the yearly schedule for UW mentors is as follows:

Spring of Junior Year of High School:

  • Meet new cohort of high school students
  • Conduct new parent orientations
  • Make sure students have taken/are taking the necessary classes for college admission
  • Make sure students are participating in extracurricular activities
  • Help students brainstorm some college possibilities
  • Work with students on preparing for the SAT/ACT tests
  • Work with students as they find and research scholarships
  • Help students brainstorm personal statement topics and make outlines for personal statements

Summer prior to Senior Year of High School:

  • Students prepare for the SAT/ACT tests
  • Students take an SAT/ACT prep class from Education Access Network (EAN)
  • Students visit prospective universities/colleges

Fall of Senior Year of High School:

  • Help students choose colleges/universities to apply to
  • Gather necessary information and materials for each application
  • Work with students on writing personal statement(s) or essay(s)
  • Help students complete other written sections (short responses, extracurricular activity lists, etc.)
  • Provide students support with finalizing and submitting college applications
  • Help students start submitting scholarship applications
  • Support students on completing and submitting financial aid applications

Winter/Spring of Senior Year of High School:

  • Students finish submitting applications to other colleges/universities
  • Students continue submitting scholarship applications
  • Provide support as students decide and accept offer of admission to the college of choice
  • Help students understand and accept financial aid awards
  • Work with students on figuring out how to pay for other expenses
  • Help students learn about and choose a housing option that works with them

University Course Credit

Since Dream Project is both a UW course and non-profit program, participating students can receive up to two credits per quarter. Students receive one credit for the lecture and breakout and one credit for the high school visit. Our EDUC 260 class for first-quarter mentors covers fundamentals of mentorship, social justice, and college access. Our EDUC 360 class for returning mentors builds on these topics and supports mentors in deepening their thinking about mentorship and social justice, while also going more in depth on educational policies and specific student populations. See sample syllabi for our classes. These EDUC 260 and 360 classes are 1 I&S credit each and must be taken concurrently with the high-school-visit component, EDUC 369.

If you have questions about the course curriculum or need assistance registering, please email dreamproject@uw.edu, visit us in Mary Gates Hall room 274 Monday — Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., or give us a call at 206-616-5791.