Eagle Apprentice Scholars

A new strategic initiative at the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse will provide  a high impact learning opportunity for a group of exceptionally talented students.

The new "Eagle Apprentice" program will offer 50 first- and second-year students an engaging educational experience while providing faculty members with much needed assistance in areas such as student-faculty research, instructional assistance, and computing support. Scott Cooper, Director of the UW-La Crosse Undergraduate Research and Creativity Center, states, "With a combination of financial support and establishment of a positive relationship with a faculty mentor, we aim to enhance student retention and eventually lead students to their own independent research projects."

Financial support for the Eagle Apprentices includes a $1,000 scholarship for their first and second years in the program.  Eligible students are selected by the UWL Admissions Office and no application is required.

UWL Eagle Apprenticeships

  •  Awarded to 25 top notch freshmen as a recruiting incentive. 
  •  The average ACT score of these students is 31, and they are in the top 96% of their high school. 
  • These students are paid $1,000 for both their first and second year to work with a faculty mentor on their research. 
  • Engaging the students with a mentor gives them valuable experience in their discipline, and helps them make educated career decisions early in college.

Testimonials about the program

From the Apprentices:
Mitchell Malecha
, Fairbault, MN, Biochemistry major
My faculty Mentors have been extremely helpful throughout the past two years. I am thankful that I have been an Eagle Apprentice because of the information I have learned and, more importantly, the memories I have made.

Haley Klundt, Sartell (MN), sophomore in the College of Liberal Studies - "So far I am really enjoying this opportunity. My mentor is very helpful and the project is very interesting. I think it is going to be a great learning experience."

Kim Trochlil, Rhinelander (WI), sophomore majoring in Biochemistry - "Mitch Malecha and I are working together to provide cell stocks to be used in the Biochemistry labs. We do some plasmid transformations and lately we have been learning how to do protein preps for Dr. Weaver's work on red blood cells in sheep's blood. ... I am loving it, and I'm so happy to stay with it."

Mikala Mlsna, Spencer, WI Psychology
I was able to figure out my career path in large part because of the Eagle Apprenticeship opening the door for communication with my mentor. 


McNair Scholars

The Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program is funded by the United States Department of Education and the UWL College of Science and Health to provide eligible students with support and preparation for graduate school.

McNair Scholars must either be low-income, first generation college students AND/OR be members of a traditionally underrepresented group in their field (usually African American, Latino/a, Native American and/or American Pacific Islander). WE ACCEPT JUNIORS AND SENIORS WITH ANY UNIVERSITY MAJOR.

For more information on eligibility for this great opportunity, please visit the McNair website HERE


UWL First! Scholars


The “UWL First! Scholars Program” is designed to assist select first generation/low income students to succeed academically through a coordinated system of support, integrating college readiness, financial aid, advising and career development.  The program hopes to address the social and economic barriers to higher education for select students who demonstrate intellectual promise and financial need.

Who are they?

UWL First! Scholars are high performing, first generation students who have been hand selected by the UWL Admissions Office to participate in this scholarship and retention program. First! Scholars have a bright future at UWL and this program helps establish firm roots here.

Benefits to the Scholars

Each cohort of up to 25 first generation students will have the unique opportunity to enroll in this scholarship program. Students are offered a $2,000.00 scholarship for the first and second year of enrolled. The program streamlines office visits, making it easier for our students to stay on track. Students will reside in a living learning community, though not all that live in this community will be members of the UWL First! Scholars, most will be. We also try to arrange a class that all Scholars take together. Scholars will also have the opportunity to develop work experience through on-campus internship opportunities. Through camaraderie, students will develop a sense of belonging, which will assist with their transition to the university.