Odyssey Project student and Sudanese refugee Josephine Lorya-Ozulamoi earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UW-Madison. Photo credit: UW Odyssey Project.

The Odyssey Project

The UW-Odyssey Project, now entering its 16th year, is an award-winning multi-generational program that empowers whole families living at the poverty level to overcome adversity and achieve dreams through education. The Odyssey Project offers free humanities courses for adults, helping students rediscover the joy of learning while earning college credits from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Odyssey Junior engages their children and grandchildren in arts and literacy enrichment and pre-college programming.


Odyssey has been the catalyst that enables many adults to transform their lives and find a career direction. After the course, the Odyssey Project continues support and advising for those who continue their college educations.

Odyssey students report transformative outcomes from their participation in the program. They also report that they read more to their children, feel that they are better parents, have more hope about their own future, are more likely to vote and become involved in their communities, and have made plans to continue their educations and/or seek job training.

Most students who participate in the UW-Odyssey Project are from ethnic minorities. Many are overcoming the obstacles of single parenthood, homelessness, drug and alcohol addiction, incarceration, depression, and domestic abuse.

 Additional information on the Odyssey Project can be found here.

The UW Odyssey Project is a program of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Division of Continuing Studies.