UW-Superior an Active Partner in the Community

Since 1893, UW-Superior has kept a promise to be an active partner in the community. Our students thrive in the community both on and off campus. Through our academic programs, students build relationships with one another and gain deeper understanding through collaborative learning and teamwork. UW-Superior's graduates are regional and national leaders in government, education, business, the arts and the professions.

Academic Service-Learning (AS-L)

UW-Superior is a regional leader in Academic Service-Learning, thus providing a distinctively public quality to UW-Superior's liberal arts mission. AS-L is a credit bearing, educational experience in which students participate in an organized service activity that meets identified community needs and reflect on the service activity to gain further understanding of course content, a broader appreciation of the discipline and an enhanced sense of civic responsibility. In fact, students in AS-L courses donated nearly 21,000 hours serving while learning. With nearly 100 partnerships including many area high schools and organizations such as the Wisconsin Small Business Development Center, YMCA, the United Way and many others, students have a host of options. These opportunities allow our students to not only test their knowledge in the real world, but to play a vital role in the well-being and development of our community.


  • 98 different AS-L courses
  • 181 AS-L course sections
  • Over 230 community partners
  • 52 professors
  • 2901 student experiences
  • 66,608 hours of service
  • $1.5 million in economic impact

Learn more about Academic Service-Learning (AS-L) 


UW-Superior students support causes year-round. Annually, 300 of our student athletes participated in at least one of 14 different community service efforts, contributing a total of 1144 hours of service locally. Some of the projects they participated in include: Caroling for Cans, Salvation Army Bell Ringing, Toys for Tots, the Bong Heritage Center Fundraiser, Mental Health Awareness activities, and more.

Five Student Involvement Community Projects also took place in 2015-16: Blood Drives, Giving Tree, Locks for Love, Animal Shelter Blankets and Alternative Spring Break week-long projects.

Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creativity Activity (URSCA)

“An inquiry or investigation conducted by a undergraduate student that makes an original intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline.”

Undergraduate research and creative activity provides skills and experience to students that help them as they graduate and enter the world beyond campus:

  • Teamwork
  • Problem-solving
  • Persistence
  • Ability to communicate

UW-Superior has opportunities available in all disciplines, in courses, through internships and academic service-learning, as summer research fellowships and through employment at campus research institutes.

57 students and 47 mentors have participated in the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship program since it began in 2012.


Students who do undergraduate research or creative projects develop strong skills that will serve them well, professionally as well as personally. Skills and benefits include:

  • Collaborating with others
  • Problem solving
  • Creative and critical thinking
  • The ability to work independently
  • Communication Skills
  • Help in getting into graduate school
  • Help getting a first job
  • The chance to study and learn a subject in depth
  • Networking
  • Getting to know professors
  • Travel
  • Getting paid
  • Getting published
  • Making life-changing connections

Learn more about URSCA 


Internships are typically one-time work or service experiences related to a student’s major or career goal. The internship plan generally involves a student working in a professional setting under the supervision and monitoring of practicing professionals. Internships can be paid or unpaid, and the student may or may not receive academic credit for performing the internship.

On campus, these specific majors are required to have an internship prior to graduation:

  • Criminal Justice
  • Health and Human Performance
  • Teacher Education
  • Transportation and Logistics
  • Social Work

Over 45 internships were completed in 2015-16. Thirty were completed with new organizations. Over 6000 internship hours were provided locally through the 45 placements.

UW-Superior staff help students develop their resume and cover letter and assist students in their search for the appropriate intern experience. Many times the hardest part of securing an internship is the search. UW-Superior guides students through this process and provides helpful resources to students as well as assistance in building their networks.

Internships benefit both our students and the employers. There is also a major benefit to our community. Internships influence student perspective of our region and can help encourage college graduates to remain here locally after they graduate. Internships also help UW-Superior stay connected to the business and nonprofit communities and help us assure what we are teaching is relevant and responsive to the needs in our community.

Our community can thrive if we can provide skilled individuals who are also engaged members of society. Our community benefits from new ideas that internship program activities generate and internships help support our university recruitment efforts.

Learn more about Internships 

Research Centers

UW-Superior’s research agenda focuses on the Lake Superior region through three research centers and partnership in a fourth.

Lake Superior Research Institute focuses on applied environmental research, with an emphasis on continuing evaluation and analysis of the physical, biological, and socio-economic environments of the greater Lake Superior basin.

Transportation and Logistics Research Center provides applied transportation and logistics research along with education and advisory services that benefit the region’s economy.

Great Lakes Maritime Research Institute works with universities around the Great Lakes to coordinate research into marine transportation, logistics, engineering, environmental planning, and port management.

Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve works in partnerships to improve the understanding of Lake Superior estuaries and coastal resources, while addressing issues affecting coastal communities through an integrated program of research, education, outreach and stewardship.

Learn more about UW-Superior Research 

Research in Boat

Small Business Development Center (SBDC)

As an educationally based organization the SBDC promotes entrepreneurship, innovation and business learning through ties with the state's economic development community.

The goal is to ensure the state's economic health and stability through business support programs, including counseling, management education, and technology and information transfer.

  • Assists entrepreneurs, small business owners and managers statewide in the pre-venture, start-up, or existing business stage and through periods of high growth or major transitions.
  • Provides advice, training and resources to entrepreneurs and established businesses to create jobs and prosperity.
  • Provides one-on-one counseling with individuals and small groups on a one-time or ongoing basis. Group training classes are offered depending on subject and market need.

Learn more about SBDC 

Continuing Education

Center for Continuing Education provides high quality educational programming to meet the needs of life-long learners in northwestern Wisconsin and beyond:

  • Professional development programs for individuals in a wide variety of careers include certificates, conferences, workshops, and courses – in-person and on-line
  • Youth education for grade school through high school provides enrichment programs and courses for college-credit
  • Community leadership training through Leadership Superior Douglas County gives participants greater knowledge of the region and opportunities to develop their skills to help strengthen our communities
  • Community forums/summits build awareness and understanding of critical issues affecting members of our communities

Learn more about Continuing Education 

Other Partnerships

It's one thing to learn about a subject in the classroom. It's a whole new experience when the knowledge from the classroom is transferred to real-world situations. UW-Superior's academic programs have created countless partnerships both within the community and around the world.

Social work students have traveled to Russia to learn more about homelessness, social care and welfare policies.

The Math Meet pits teams of area high school students against one another with the mission to solve math problems in a small amount of time. Individual competitions also take place with the teams and individuals with the best scores awarded trophies.

Geology students have provided their knowledge of rocks to area third-grade classes. They work together on rock cycle activities and to help the elementary students develop a deeper understanding of rocks and minerals.

Science Night invites children and adults to campus to explore the marvels of chemistry, physics and biology through interactive displays and lots of fun.

The Center for Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity sponsors the Campus Day of Celebration, a creative showcase allowing students to display their hard work on research projects, art work, music, poster presentations, and writing.

Focusing on statewide events, UW-Superior students travel to Madison every year for the annual "Posters in the Rotunda" event to set up poster displays and shared the findings of their diverse research subjects which, in many cases, are the culmination of multiple academic years of study and collaboration with faculty mentors and community partners throughout Wisconsin. Topics have included "Educational Attainment and Income Among Wisconsin Native Americans," "Are We Breathing Plastics?," and "Douglas County Mental Health - Medicaid Reimbursement Policies" among several others.