Higher Expectations for Racine County was founded on a simple idea: Those who care about our community’s future – from parents and educators to civic leaders and local employers – can accomplish more by working together. We work from early childhood through post-secondary education and employment to help ensure that every student – regardless of race, zip code, age, or family income – can succeed.
One of our post- secondary partners saw significant improvement in the number and percentage of students who were able to enroll in and complete their gateway math course in their first term. Due to multiple measures and co-requisite support, the percentage of students required to complete a developmental math course dropped from 42 % to 18%. As of Fall 2021, UWP has eliminated remedial math courses.
Six-year graduation rates at one of our partner institutions has increased from 24 % to 45% in the last 4 years. This institution has committed to reaching a 50 percent 6-year graduation rate by 2025 and closing equity performance gaps by 2030.
Implementation of a consistent 15 to Finish campaign has led to 98 % of FTFT students enrolling in 15 credits in their first term.
Our Talent hub continues to focus on improving post-secondary completion and eliminating gaps for marginalized populations. The initial work launched as part of the Talent hub continues in a broader regional collaboration called the Higher Education Regional Alliance, a collaboration of 18 institutions in the south eastern Wisconsin region focused on improving college completion, aligning educational programs and creating a bridge to employers. Two of our local post-secondary partners signed on as a the Moonshot for Equity, an initiative to close equity gaps by 2030. Moonshot for equity builds on the previous Talent hub work and aligns with the work underway in the M7 region. Most recently, a new strand of work launched with a focus on improving transfer rates and completion rates.
Our post-secondary partners have implemented math pathways, co-requisite support and multiple measures for math placement at scale and are seeing good results. We have now begun to wrestle with the fundamental question of how to create a seamless K-16 math pipeline. The partnership now includes our K-12 partners with a focus on shared professional development, increased data sharing, and improved curricular alignment and cohesion between education institutions in the region.
Historically, college going rates in our region have lagged behind bot the state and national average. Since COVID, college going rates have seen steep declines especially among low income students and students of color. Higher Expectations recently launched, in collaboration with Racine Unified School district, a new strand of work focused on improving improve FAFSA completion in the district.
The Wisconsin educator workforce is stretched thin, our local school districts are struggling to retain current teachers and the supply of new teachers is inadequate to fill vacancies and does not represent the student demographic in the districts in our region. We have launched an education network with representatives from key stakeholder groups (e.g. K-12 administration, faculty, teachers of color, community members, union leadership and funders) and identified as a collective four strands of work: cultural competence, awareness and perception of the field, creating a college going culture within the education pathway and post-secondary teacher education experience.
UW-Parkside has been engaged with the work of Higher Expectations for Racine County since its inception in 2014. Dr. Debbie Ford, Chancellor is a member of the leadership table and serves on the executive committee. UW Parkside has been actively engaged in the local work of the Talent hub is also helping lead the completion efforts in the broader M7 region through the Higher Education Regional Alliance. Most recently, they expanded their commitment to this work by becoming one of the first institutions in the nation to commit to closing equity gaps by 2030 through the Moonshot for Equity initiative.
“Collective impact may not be linear. We worked closely with our Talent hub partners for the past three years and as a result have been able to eliminate a big structural barrier to degree completion in our region. Thousands of students will benefit because a Talent Hub brought us together. We just needed the time, space and support to get it done!”