Work Groups

The following work groups are part of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Initiative of the Milwaukee Education Partnership (MEP). A brief description of this initiative can be found on our MEP Initiatives page.

To download the combined 2014 & 2015 HBCU Report, click here.


Create an MPS Student Support Pipeline

The purpose of this work group is to increase the number of Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) students that attend HBCUs. About 40 percent of all African-American college graduates received their degrees from HBCUs. HBCUs, because of their strong sense of cultural pride and community, provide additional support to students. Professors and leaders are often African American, class sizes are small, tuition is often lower, and scholarships are numerous.

In the past three years (2011-2013), 3,838 African-American students who graduated from MPS enrolled in a post-secondary institution. Only 336 of these enrolled in an HBCU to pursue a four-year degree program. In order to raise the number of Milwaukee students who attend HBCUs after high school, this group will conduct research and develop a survey to create enrollment goals.

Creating a motivating support system for students who are considering attending an HBCU is a key aspect in increasing enrollment. Students will want or need mentoring, guidance and access to resources during the application and enrollment processes as well as during their matriculation. Student needs can be supported by enhancing the education pipeline between MPS and HBCUs.


Create a Professional Educator Pipeline for HBCU Graduates

The purpose of this work group is to create a pipeline of HBCU graduates who move back to Milwaukee to fill professional jobs, participate in Milwaukee’s economy, develop a strong middle class, and prevent "brain drain". HBCUs are a primary source of talent for a variety of professional fields such as teaching, engineering, medicine, etc. In fact, according to a 2010 study done by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, students who attend Historically Black Colleges and Universities are more likely to pursue and graduate in careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). While the 100 HBCUs represent just 3 percent of the nation’s institutions of higher learning, they graduate nearly 20 percent of African Americans who earn undergraduate degrees. In addition, the institutions graduate more than 50 percent of African-American professionals and public school teachers1.


Establish Professional Development Programs for MPS Educators

This work group will assist MPS teachers and administrators with their professional development needs by matching them with HBCU faculty who are nationally recognized for their expertise in working successfully with urban children.

Most MPS teachers receive degrees in Wisconsin. More than 40 percent of MPS teachers are certified by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) and approximately 60 percent of MPS teachers are certified by University of Wisconsin (UW) System schools2. Local colleges and universities have not done enough to educate teachers on how best to provide a successful learning environment for urban children who oftentimes have a myriad of challenges associated with poverty. Working more closely with HBCU faculty for ongoing teacher professional development is a means to provide this expertise within MPS.


Initiate Faculty Collaborations between HBCU & Milwaukee Institutions

The purpose of this work group is to provide opportunities for HBCU faculty to engage in professional collaboration with UW System and Milwaukee regional higher education institution faculty in order to share best practices and create opportunities for shared knowledge. Types of engagement include but are not limited to sabbaticals, faculty-to-faculty exchanges, collaborative resource development, and opportunities for research collaboration.


Establish Professional Development Opportunities for HBCU Students

The purpose of this work group is to spur the development of internships and pre-service professional development for HBCU students such as student teaching opportunities for HBCU students in Milwaukee and a variety of internships for other professionals (engineers, physicians, etc.). This can align students with careers and employers before graduation. The work group will explore the development of dedicated spaces for students to live in Milwaukee.


Create a Program Directory

This work group will develop a comprehensive directory of programs that targets HBCU students and potential HBCU students in Milwaukee, providing information on such things as professional internships, teacher preparation and scholarships. The work group will formulate a strategy for distributing the directory, as well as completing annual updates.


2 Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction