Significant Initiatives/Partnerships of the Milwaukee Education Partnership (MEP)

College Access Initiatives

The MEP collaborated for the last three years with the Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) College Access Centers to promote the completion of the Free Application for Financial Aid (FAFSA) and the UWS Universal College Application.

Partners in this endeavor include Milwaukee World Festivals Inc. (Summerfest etc.), religious communities, athletes and social media influencers.

MKE Fellows, an initiative sponsored by ALIVE MKE, has enjoyed the support of the MEP since the inception of the Fellows. 

This year, 2023, the MEP presence at Summerfest was supported by grants from the Ralph Evinrude Foundation and the Forest County Potowatami Foundation.


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. 

Through this initiative the MEP has collaborated with numerous partners invested in the development of our communities’ youngest and most vulnerable members.

The State of Wisconsin will partner with organizations endeavoring to improve K-12 students literacy achievement through investments in successful literacy initiatives around the state. The MEP will collaborate with our K-12 partners to access state funding to improve student literacy in our partner districts.


Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Initiative

This significant collaboration between the Milwaukee Public Schools, over thirty of the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), and the MEP will bring new opportunities to enhance African-American lives in the Milwaukee region through our HBCU institutions. 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 primarily within the Milwaukee Public School System.  Our partnership will further 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 institutions in the fields of education, engineering, healthcare and information technology, to come to Southeastern Wisconsin to help build a stronger region socially, economically and culturally.  The first two MEP/HBCU conferences were held in 2014 and 2015. Successive conferences have been held each year since through 2019.

Currently, the MEP seeks to place HBCU student teacher candidates in MPS to complete their pre-professional experience. The goal is to enhance the pool of HBCU prepared educators available to teach in MPS schools.

The Partnership initiated HBCU Sunday, which is an annual celebration of the contributions of HBCU institutions to the development of African American professionals. The celebration takes place the first Sunday of October among Wisconsin’s African American faith congregations and is supported with a generous grant from the Forest County Potowatami Foundation.

The week concludes on the following Saturday with an HBCU College Fair held at Milwaukee Vincent High School.

The MEP has fostered a collaboration between the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Engineering and the Morgan State University School of Engineering to promote joint faculty research and faculty exchanges.

Videos, produced in collaboration with Visit Milwaukee, are currently utilized by the MEP to target HBCU students and graduates who are recruited by MPS staff as well as by corporations such as J.F. Ahern Company,Johnson Controls, Ascension Healthcare and Northwestern Mutual Insurance Company. Engineers, healthcare, and information technology professionals as well as educators are the focus of the recruitment effort.


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.  Initially begun as a partnership with Cardinal Stritch University, and now with Alverno College and MPS 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 in Education through Alverno College or MPSU. 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, Alverno College and the Milwaukee Education Partnership.  For more information or to apply to this program, please click here.

Leading Men Fellows Program

The Next Door Foundation of Milwaukee and the MEP partnered with the Literacy Lab of Washington, DC to prepare a cohort of young men of color who are recent high school graduates (mostly from MPS) to serve as compensated literacy coaches to Milwaukee’s preschool children.

Ultimately, the coaches are encouraged to and supported while pursuing a higher education degree preferably as certified teachers to serve in Milwaukee schools.

The generous and enthusiastic support of the local foundation community and government has been instrumental to the success of this initiative which has now expanded to the Racine Unified Schools District.

The sixth cohort of Leading Men Fellows begins August 2023.


Milwaukee Carver Elementary STEM Lab Initiative

The MEP convened the leadership of Carver Academy School, the Brewers Hill Neighborhood Association, Project Lead the Way, Tuskegee University and MPS to support the school staff in the development and utilization of the school’s multi million dollar GE STEM Lab. The goal is to improve the motivation, attendance and academic achievement of Carver students as well as promoting Carver as a desired, high performing school to parents.

A student from Tuskegee University will spend a semester at Carver Academy as a support to the lab, beginning January 2024.


MEP Webinar Presentations

The MEP presents webinars in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin System.

Recent webinars include presentations by Dr. Cassandra Herring Executive Director of the Branch Alliance for Educator Diversity, the National Center for Teacher Residencies African American Male Initiative that prepares educators for service in participating school districts as well as a presentation last year October by the former Surgeon General of the United States, Dr. Jerome Adams who addressed disparities in the nation’s healthcare delivery system.

This Fall season, MEP will present webinars from the National Center for Teacher Residencies on the preparation of African American educators and from the University of Illinois- Chicago School of Education’s “Call Me Mister” Initiative.