Significant Initiatives/Partnerships of the Milwaukee Education Partnership (MEP)
Innovation in Bio-Science is in the early stages of development. This collaborative and educational project is between the cities of Milwaukee and Baltimore. The program is being designed for students in 7th-12th grades. The key objective of this partnership is to increase student academic achievement, motivation and commitment in the diverse fields, methods and disciplines of the bio-sciences. The disciplines are societal challenges in the areas of climate, food, energy, health and fresh water. The neighborhoods of Milwaukee and Baltimore will be used as educational incubators to increase bio-science training and career potentials for students. These two cities are ideal collaborators because they share similar traits, geography and academic goals. These cities are also small enough to communicate but large enough to create momentum. Instead of schools being the sole provider of education, the project becomes a community-wide commitment. Participation ranging from neighborhood residents to bio-science experts is essential. In addition, the drawing in of diverse talent from universities, businesses, non-profit institutions and government agencies will also play a pivotal role in transforming education on a neighborhood level. This program will be a new way of re-framing how neighborhoods can be used as motivating, educational accelerators.
College Access Initiatives
The support of the Milwaukee Education Partnership was instrumental in acquiring the more than $14 million in match that created the $28 million GEAR UP award from the U.S. Department of Education. The match is an expression of support from nearly 20 different partners to prepare Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) students for college enrollment and completion. Two college access centers are now operational in Milwaukee thanks to the Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation. These centers provide students and their families with information and assistance in completing college applications, financial aid forms and job applications. Assistance in preparing for the ACT, SAT and ACCUPLACER is also provided. The centers’ programming is coordinated with re-formed MPS guidance services tailored to high school students. MPS, Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC) and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) continue to have meaningful conversations regarding the dual enrollment of MPS students at these institutions. We know that students perform better at UWM when they have completed significant study at MATC. These institutions have a shared commitment to improve the preparation of MPS students in reading, composition, math and science.
Fresh Coast Classic College and Resource Fair
The Milwaukee Education Partnership has been an instrumental partner in the creation and presentation of the Fresh Coast Classic College and Resource Fair held annually in Milwaukee during Thanksgiving week in conjunction with the Fresh Coast Classic Basketball Tournament. All 11th grade Milwaukee Public Schools students are required to attend. Parents/guardians and other students are also encouraged to attend. The Fresh Coast Classic College and Resource Fair gives high school students an opportunity to explore Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and other colleges in Wisconsin and around the country. Breakout sessions are provided throughout the day and have included information on how to obtain scholarship money, FAFSA completion and NCAA athletic eligibility at the college level. Information is also shared on apprenticeships, technical schools and careers in the military. Approximately 3,000 to 4,000 area high school juniors and seniors attend this event every year.
Early Childhood Literacy Initiative
With the participation of over 20 local partners, a Community Solutions Action Plan (CSAP) was developed that aims to improve literacy from birth through grade 3 in Milwaukee. This effort began with the Milwaukee Education Partnership joining the National Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, co-sponsored by the National Civic League. Potential funders are being sought to support this initiative.
Head Start Initiative
With the support and encouragement of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services – Administration for Children & Families, the Milwaukee Education Partnership has convened meetings of the four local agencies (Acelero Learning, Centro Hispano, Next Door and Milwaukee Public Schools) responsible for the Head Start program administration in Milwaukee. The goal is to foster and encourage inter-agency collaborations which result in better service to families participating in Head Start programming and improved learning readiness by those entering kindergarten.
Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Initiative
This significant collaboration between Milwaukee Public Schools, the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), and the Milwaukee Education Partnership (MEP) will bring new opportunities to enhance African-American lives in our HBCU communities and in Milwaukee. From this partnership, the initiative will encourage more Milwaukee youth to pursue education beyond high school. This initiative also will strengthen the support system needed for students to complete college or university degrees and begin their professional careers within the Milwaukee Public School System. Our partnership will also create important professional development opportunities for educators and emerging educators who want to serve in an urban school district. Our aim is to encourage degreed professionals from HBCU cities to return to the Midwest to help build a stronger Milwaukee socially, economically and culturally. The first two MEP/HBCU conferences were held in 2014 and 2015. A third conference is being planned for 2016. To learn more about this exciting initiative and to view the HBCU reports, please go to our Work Groups page.
Loyola University of Chicago and University of Wisconsin-Parkside Initiative
This collaboration is a regional effort to prepare teachers and administrators for service to K-12 schools in southeastern Wisconsin. The deans of the respective teacher certification programs are formulating the details of this effort with the assistance of the Milwaukee Education Partnership.
Project Metro Alternative Certification (PMAC) Program
This is an innovative post baccalaureate teaching certification program specifically designed to address areas of need within Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS). Its mission is to prepare and sustain a cadre of highly effective and highly committed urban teachers dedicated to accelerating student achievement within MPS. In partnership with Cardinal Stritch University, a resident combines a year-long, co-teaching experience alongside a selected Professional Educator (Resident Coach) with master’s-level coursework. Residents pursue certification either at the high school level in mathematics, science, special education, or bilingual education (Spanish) or at the elementary level in special education or bilingual education (Spanish). The residents then have an opportunity to earn their master’s degree through Cardinal Stritch University. The candidates are strategically selected to fill hard-to-staff schools in the aforementioned areas of identified need. A four-year commitment to the program is required. This program is guided by a steering committee comprised of staff from MPS, Cardinal Stritch University and the Milwaukee Education Partnership. For more information or to apply to this program, please click here.
Summer Basketball Camps Initiative
Every summer 100 or more Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) students participate in University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) basketball camps aimed at third through sixth graders, thanks to the partnership, support and collaboration of UWM, MPS, the Milwaukee Education Partnership, the Nicholas Family Foundation and the Fellowship Open Foundation. Grants from the Nicholas Family Foundation support MPS student participation. The Fellowship Open Foundation awards programmed iPads to select students every year for school and personal use. Students are formally exposed to college campus “life” and resources. More than $100,000 has been given to this effort since summer of 2010.