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Rising Phoenix

Dream Big
Rise Higher

Early College High School Program Overview

Rising Phoenix is a groundbreaking collaboration between school districts and UW-Green Bay, providing students with a future-proofing blend of dual enrollment, ongoing student success coaching and an opportunity to earn a high school diploma and an Associate of Arts and Sciences degree while still in high school.

Two students walking outdoors along Lake Michigan boardwalk
Business team meeting in a boardroom

Powerful Partnerships

We are proud to partner with businesses and organizations committed to public-private collaboration and inclusive representation by expanding enrollment in the Rising Phoenix program. By working together, we can build a powerful model for encouraging a diverse community of learners that will make up our future workforce.

Joining Forces to Create Opportunity   

Now Open

The Rising Phoenix application is now open for the class of 2026. Check the GEAR UP webpage or participating schools' webpages listed above for detailed information about steps to apply.

Head start

Rising Phoenix gives high school students a head start on college by earning their high school diploma and a two-year Associate of Arts and Sciences degree

Peer Learning

Current sophomore students are able to apply and will enroll during their junior and senior years of high school


Eligibility for Rising Phoenix can be adapted to the needs and goals of any school district — partner schools receive a dedicated webpage with specific details

A Synergistic Approach to Learning

Rising Phoenix takes a synergistic approach to learning to ensure student success.

Student success coach advising student

Student Success Coach

Every student will work individually and consistently with a Student Success Coach on the admissions steps and academic success.

Manitowoc student studying by laptop

Social & Emotional Support

In collaboration with school counselors, the Student Success Coach will also help students balance college courses with high school life, providing social and emotional support.

Students studying in Manitowoc Campus dining campus

Learning Together

Students will learn together as a cohort for their First Year Seminar class where they will learn important skills for college success.

Student with arms up outside by Lake Michigan

Flexible Class Schedules

Flexible class schedules will be developed in order to fit individual student needs and their desire to remain in some high school elective classes.

Holistic Process

Our Approach to Admissions.

We assess students individually, based on academic and personal backgrounds. We are looking for students who have shown maturity, academic readiness and the grit needed to succeed in college. We also have an equity-based focus of serving students who are underserved and underrepresented in higher education.


Grade Point Average

A 3.0 GPA may be encouraged but is not necessarily required

Financial Need

If students are eligible for free or reduced lunch

College Readiness

If students demonstrate academic excellence or express an interest in early college

First Generation

If parents/guardians do not have a bachelor's degree


If students attend school regularly


If students are recommended by high school teachers and school counselors

Highest Recognition

The UW System Board of Regents honored UW-Green Bay’s Early College Programs with an Academic Staff Excellence Award, recognizing service to the university. The award is the highest recognition bestowed on members of UW-System’s academic staff. Rising Phoenix is one of the categories of Early College Programs. 

Read the Announcement

Student Pathway

Application Process for Students

Below are the typical steps students take towards admission and enrollment into the Rising Phoenix Program. The process can be customized to school requirements.

Student Application

Application includes submission of personal information, parent/guardian and student expectations form, 1 essay addressing 3 question prompts (1.5-3 pages total for essay). Example questions:

  1. Why are you interested in participating in the Rising Phoenix Early College High School Program?
  2. Tell your story about a time when you overcame a significant or personal challenge. Explain the details of the situation and how you handled and worked through things, as well as what you learned from the experience.
  3. As a Rising Phoenix student, you will take college-level coursework at your high school, online, and/or on one of the UW-Green Bay campuses in Green Bay, Manitowoc, Marinette, or Sheboygan. How will you utilize social and academic resources and support during your journey? Please be specific.
Teacher Recommendations

Two recommendations are required, one in a core subject area. Access to our online teacher recommendation forms can be found within each program or district's website. 

Student Transcripts and Attendance Record

Student or school counselor submits transcript and attendance record to review committee.


Students are notified of admissions decisions.


Example Program Launch Schedule

Below is an idea of how a new Rising Phoenix program might rollout. We begin with a period of collaboration in order to design a program that fits your needs and aligns with your mission.

One Year Prior to the Start of First Cohort
September/OctoberCollaborationSchool district and UW-Green Bay staff discuss district goals, budget, timeline, admissions, and overall structure of Rising PhoenixMeetings, emails, final program agreement
Launch Program
NovemberAnnouncementSchool district and UW-Green Bay announce Rising Phoenix program internally to teachers, faculty, and staffMeetings, emails
CommunicationExternal communication to students and familiesWebsite, press release, postcard, UW-Green Bay info sessions, individual student meetings
JanuaryApplication OpensUW-Green Bay creates a dedicated school Rising Phoenix webpageWebpage
MarchApplication ReviewUW-Green Bay and school form a review committee to evaluate applicationsReview of submitted materials, recommendations and student interviews
Student Cohort Finalized
April/MayStudent OrientationAdmitted students are notified and begin working with Student Success Coach and school counselors for orientation and class scheduling1:1 meetings, emails
Vanessa standing outside of Preble High School doors

a Balanced

“I like numbers,” admits Vanessa Abella-Martinez. And if those numbers are associated with accumulating wealth (for herself and clients), all the better. Life, in her view, is like a well-balanced portfolio of pursuits. She recognizes that wise investments can extend beyond money to include a college education. 

Vanessa Abella-Martinez
Preble High School, Green Bay

Read Vanessa's Story  

Access Nearby

With Rising Phoenix, students and schools have access to any of our four locations and online for relevant courses.

Explore Our Locations   

Aerial view of Green Bay campus with view of Bay of Green Bay
Portrait of Aubrey Schramm

Request a Consultation

Visit with Aubrey Schramm to learn how you can create and rollout your own Rising Phoenix Early College High School Program.

Contact Aubrey