USM offers various transcript distinctions for Upper School students to focus their studies on an area of interest to them. Through core courses, electives, and independent study opportunities, students work toward earning a transcript distinction throughout their Upper School experience.
University School of Milwaukee is committed to helping students develop a true sense of global citizenship, one of the core tenets of 21st century learning. The centerpiece of global learning is our Global Scholars program. Embedded in the curriculum, this program requires that students develop foreign language proficiency, the research and writing skills necessary for global understanding, and a deeper appreciation of world religions, environmental issues, digital technologies, history and economics, and world literary traditions. Moving beyond the classroom, USM students have the opportunity to host students from foreign countries and to take study trips to these countries. Additionally, our service requirements have included work with Milwaukee's global refugee community, water projects in Ugandan communities, and service abroad. Students get a taste of global experiences at our weekly Global Scholar' meetings through presentations from global business, academic and education leaders, and from visits from global authors and activists. Lastly, students participate in a crisis simulation in January that forces them to grapple with authentic global problems and real-world issues through role playing and research.
University School of Milwaukee's Kramlich Innovation Distinction is designed to provide students the opportunity to think creatively, explore topics deeply, and develop solutions to ambiguous, complex, real-world problems. Students will communicate and collaborate with mentors in and outside the classroom to get authentic feedback using an iterative process to reach solutions, and quite possibly struggle to attain them. As innovators, students will develop the following attributes, skills, and competencies:
- Impart attributes in innovation
- Build skills in innovation
- Inculcate competencies in innovation
USM developed the Kramlich Innovation Distinction program to allow students to forge their own learning paths through the school's Lubar Center for Innovation and Exploration based on a menu of curricular and extracurricular options. Students will do creative work, sometimes tackling real-world problems through process-oriented investigations. During their senior year, students' work will culminate in a large-scale project supported by internal and external mentors. The coursework, related extracurricular choices, and the final project, foster students' intellectual development as well as their social-emotional learning. Through the program, students will become equipped with the skills required to successfully navigate ambiguity and uncertainty in the college environment as well as in our rapidly changing global society.
University School of Milwaukee has a rich history of excellence in science pedagogy and achievement. Coupled with a strong offering of sciences, including many Advanced Placement (AP) science courses, advanced students may choose to earn a distinction in science research. This deep dive into laboratory science allows students to develop skills and research habits that can carry into future careers. In pursuit of the Independent Science Research Distinction, students will develop at least one robust science research project over several years, write a formal research paper, work with both internal and external mentors, and may be selected to participate in the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF).
The Service Leadership Distinction at University School of Milwaukee aims to encourage and recognize students who dedicate significant time to the service of others. This program offers a path to help our students demonstrate meaningful and sustained community service within the framework of academic inquiry. The program requires that students fulfill a minimum of 100 hours of off-campus community service, take a leadership role in planning service events, and complete a year-long research project on a social issue of personal concern, in addition to a senior year project of their own design. Students who have shown an interest in the 9th grade Community Engagement Project and/or completed significant service by the end of their freshman year are invited to join the program in their sophomore year.