CeO Scholar Services

CeO provides a variety of support services for eligible students throughout their academic careers at UW-Madison. You can click below to learn more about each service.

CeO students studying and working in the CeO office in 16 Ingraham
  • Proactive and holistic academic advising
  • Academic coaching, individual writing support, and math support
  • Structured experience for first-year students with peer mentoring
  • Welcoming study space, computer lab, priority enrollment, and free printing
  • Assistance with and referrals to other campus services
  • Support for students with disabilities

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Peer Learning Communities (PLC)


Peer Navigators at the 2022 Strategies for Success orientation

CeO First Year Scholars are sorted into PLCs of 5-8 other first year scholars and have a Peer Navigator to lead the PLC throughout the entire first year in CeO.

Peer Navigators are  current 2nd, 3rd, or 4th+ year CeO Scholars who support and nurture first year scholars in their transition to the UW-Madison, both socially and academically. Peer Navigators mentor their PLC of First Year CeO Scholars and stay in frequent contact to arrange gatherings, answer questions and concerns, and provide community during the first year at UW-Madison.

The 2022-2023 cohort of CeO Peer Navigators at training in August of 2022. They are outside on a sunny day and are gathered on either end of a wooden plank extended between two platforms while one student attempts to carefully walk across the wooden plank from one side to the other.
The 2022-2023 cohort of CeO Peer Navigators at training in August of 2022

Structured First Year Scholar Experience

CeO provides a structured experience for First Year CeO Scholars The responsibilities include:

  • Attend Cohort SOAR the summer before they enter UW-Madison
  • Enroll in a High-Impact Practice (HIP) for their first year during Cohort SOAR (FIGS, URS, Residential Learning Community, or approved class)
  • Enroll in Counseling Psychology 115: CeO Educational Effectiveness (both fall and spring semester).
    • This class is reserved for CeO First-Year Scholars only, and is taught by CeO Writing, Study Skills Specialist, and Instructor Dr. Shawn Peters.
  • Move-in early to the residence halls to attend Strategies for Success in late August
  • Participate in Strategies for Success, the First-Year Scholar orientation in late August
  • Meet at least three times each semester with their assigned CeO Advisor to check in on academics, transition, and other areas of support
  • Attend the Empowering You Conference in the spring of their first year
  • Participate in the Peer Learning Communities (PLC) led by CeO Peer Navigators

Mid-Semester Progress Report

CeO utilizes a mid-semester progress report to help new scholars and scholars in academic recovery to connect with instructors for support, resources, and grade estimation early in the semester. After connecting with their instructors, First-Year CeO Scholars complete and submit the mid-semester report to their CeO Advisor.

Support for Scholars with Disabilities

CeO Staff work closely with CeO Scholars with disabilities to facilitate their learning experience. We also work collaboratively with the McBurney Disability Resource Center in supporting our students who would benefit from accommodations.

CeO Classes

CeO provides an opportunity for students to take classes with other CeO and Division of Diversity, Equity, and Educational Achievement (DDEEA) Scholars. The classes chosen meet the requirements of many majors and more importantly, enhance students’ academic skills and success. Each year, special emphasis have been placed the following course.

  • Ed Psych 322: The Psychology and Moral Development of Forgiveness (Fall 2024, 3 credits): This seminar course is limited to 12 seats, and is only open to CeO Scholars. Ed Psych 322 is an introduction to the psychology of forgiveness, including development and variations in appropriation of forgiveness, consequences of forgiving, and separating ideas of reconciliation and forgiveness.

Academic Advising

CeO provides holistic advising and works closely with departmental advisors, deans, and career staff to ensure that CeO Scholars have a greater understanding of the many opportunities available to them and the requirements that must be met.

CeO Scholars meet with advisors to complete an individualized learning plan and timeline to degree which helps lay out their academic and career goals. Advisors assist students to discover resources and explore majors, careers, finding internships (both national and international), studying abroad, research, leadership and more.

First Year CeO Scholar Requirements see “Structured First-Year Scholar Experience”

Current CeO Scholar Requirements

  • Attend semesterly advising appointments:
    • First Years – three times each semester
    • Second Years – two times each semester
    • Third Years – two times each semester
    • Fourth Year+ – one time each semester
  • Check in with your CeO Advisor to explore valuable experiences like CeO-funded conferences, grad prep retreats, internships, study abroad, and scholarships
  • Seek academic support through services and resources offered by CeO and across campus, especially CeO’s Math Specialist Clark Cantrall and CeO Writing Specialist, Shawn Peters.
  • Respond to CeO emails and communications in a timely manner
  • Represent oneself and CeO in a respectful manner and within the policies of CeO and UW-Madison

Academic Coaching & Writing Support

Through ACTS  and CeO’s Writing and Study Skills Specialist, Dr. Shawn Peters, CeO Scholars are able to request an academic coach or schedule an appointment with Dr. Peters.

  • Academic coaching may be one-on-one or small group settings, and writing support appointments are individual.

ACTS Coaches are UW-Madison students who have successfully completed the requested courses who lead regularly scheduled study sessions. In some cases the academic coaching group leader attends class lectures along with the CeO Scholars and will facilitate a peer learning experience guided by the Supplement Instruction (SI) model. Through these experiences, CeO Scholars become successful independent learners by utilizing the transferable study skills they have acquired.

  • Request math support with CeO Math Specialist Clark Cantrall and other department academic coaching through DDEEA ACTS website under the “Apply” heading.
  • Math Specialist Drop-in Hours in the CeO Office on Tuesdays from 12:30 – 2:30 pm
  • Receive writing support by scheduling an appointment via Starfish with CeO Writing Specialist, Shawn Peters

Priority Enrollment

Priority Enrollment allows a greater chance for CeO Scholars to access and secure seats in classes that they need before they become filled. Each semester First and Second Year CeO Scholars have the unique privilege to enroll in the next semester courses when the Junior enrollment begins instead of the later timeline that other first and second year students follow.

Assistance with Financial Aid, Housing, and Other University Services

The CeO staff are available to guide CeO Scholars to support for financial aid, housing, applying for resources for basic needs, mental health support, identity, gender and sexuality, student organizations, and other resources at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Advisors serve as advocates and help CeO Scholars navigate opportunities and challenges in all areas of a student’s life.

Graduate School and Professional School Advising

CeO Scholars are encouraged to pursue graduate and professional degrees.

  • CeO Advisors and Staff will guide students to resources such as specialized advising centers, informational workshops, and CeO-funded seminars on graduate and professional schools which provide an overview of the fields of study and of the application processes.
  • CeO Scholars can always schedule an appointment with their advisors to begin the grad school exploration process.
  • CeO works collaboratively with various research programs at UW-Madison and other campuses, especially the McNair Scholars Program, to provide students with research experience and exposure to higher education while still undergraduates.

Cultural and Social Activities

CeO strives to build a learning community where CeO Scholars from all experiences and backgrounds engage with Madison’s diverse community. To support this, CeO provides free social and cultural activities throughout the year for Scholars to meet their CeO peers, faculty, and staff.

Previous semester activities have included

  • Bowling at Union South
  • Game & karaoke nights
  • Potluck socials
  • Roller skating
  • Haunted house excursion
  • Attending on-campus and off-campus plays, and much more

At the close of each semester, CeO celebrates the new graduates with a celebratory reception where the graduating Scholars are able to recognize the people in their lives who have contributed to their success.

Work with Us

CeO employs some of our scholars in positions in our office. Student staff assist with welcoming students at our front desk, our communication and social media, and with mentoring the incoming first-year CeO scholars. Find out more about the positions we have available on the Work With Us tab.

Informational Resources

CeO provides a wide variety of information on topics such as scholarships, awards, grants, volunteer placements, and other opportunities to get involved in the university and the city of Madison. Information can be found on the website, on the Facebook and Instagram pages, in the CeO Office, directly from staff and advisors, or through e-mail communications including the CeO Weekly Newsletter.