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University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Area Milwaukee Technical College Partner to Amplify Student Success

ACE members, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Milwaukee Area Technical College, have partnered to close equity gaps and increase graduation in Wisconsin with their program, M³.

M³ began in 2015 with the leadership of three major public education institutions in southeastern Wisconsin: Vicki Martin, president of Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC); Mark Mone, chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM); and Keith P. Posley, Superintendent of Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS). UWM and MATC offer three tracks to give students a head start on their college career: General, Nursing, and Education. Through this partnership, the two colleges hope to increase the retention, graduation and career success of their more than 130,000 students.

Their strategies involve academic and career planning and curriculum alignment to support student aspirations and entrepreneurship. To achieve this goal, M³ provides dual enrollment options, educates students and staff about these options, and accommodates student transportation needs. Students have the option of taking 200-level college courses and advanced-level high school courses for potential college credit.

M³ also works to increase four-year completion rates for MPS high school students by setting FAFSA goals and establishing school implementation teams that provide in-house support for students’ academic and career plans. MPS. The project ensures that parents are prepared to champion the success of their students. To increase enrollment of MPS graduates in higher education, M³ conducts outreach activities with students, educators, parents and volunteers to identify and promote pathways to college and careers .

Imunique Triplett, a student at Rufus King International High School, credited the program with fulfilling her nursing aspirations. Triplett faced her fears of the unknown and became a licensed practical nurse before graduating from high school.

“[When] I actually started the program, I kind of realized, “You know, I’m glad I didn’t let my preconceived judgments decide where I take this or where I don’t take this.” And [it’s] definitely the best decision I could have made,” Triplett said. madison 365.

Phyllis King, associate vice chancellor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, says the numbers show the project had an immediate impact.

“Early successes have been increased MPS graduation rates, an increase in the number of MPS graduates enrolled in post-secondary education within a year, improved transfers through aligned courses, an increase in the acquisition of credits through dual support for incoming students through summer bridging programs, and we have implemented curriculum reform where 72 percent of participating students complete math for credit in their 1st year at MATC or UWM,” she said. “Most recently, through dual enrollment, 94 students earned college credits, saving more than $750,000 in college fees while still in high school. M³ truly makes a difference Our greatest reward is the success of our students.

Both institutions serve diverse populations and hope to build the region’s labor pool by making the process inclusive for the community. UWM and MATC recognize that employment, income, social mobility and other variables hold too many people back, and they hope to help close these gaps with scholarships, emergency grants, working conditions. fairer admissions and mental health support.

MATC also concluded that placement tests can act as a barrier for many students, determining that the ACCUPLACER test was not an accurate representation of student potential.

“We had a student who had taken the ACCUPLACER multiple times,” Martin said. Milwaukee Mail Online. “But once we dropped the ACCUPLACER as a tool to place students in classes and started giving her the support she needed, she got a passing grade.”

UWM prioritizes student belonging by working with student identity centers and peer mentors. The college is considering stronger technology support and high-impact guidance to help students manage their courses. Mone believes that students should be welcomed where they are.

“There’s such enthusiasm, there’s such passion,” he said. “A lot of people are now asking, ‘Why didn’t we do this before? Why aren’t we invested in the joint efforts we really need to talk about curriculum alignment, parent involvement, scholarship opportunities, academic success, and ultimately getting the diploma and preparation for careers? I would say that M³ is the most important educational initiative taking place in southeastern Wisconsin, if not beyond.

Tony Tagliavia, director of marketing at Milwaukee Area Technical College, is optimistic about what the program can accomplish.

“Intentionally working together as institutions that serve over 100,000 diverse students has already paid off. As the work continues, we have the potential to create the change our community and region needs. – in large scale.”

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