As I like to remind our 300-plus community partners, “Collective Impact” is not an easy or quick fix. It has taken a tremendous amount of time, talent, resources and investment to align our community under Milwaukee Succeeds. Now that many of our strategies are being implemented, we can see that improvements are tangible; more to come!
Recently I’ve shared data-driven results from Goal 1 (Kindergarten Readiness), Goal 2 (School Success), and Goal 4 (Social & Emotional Health). Today, I want to share the work of Goal 3 (college and career access and success), led by Jonathan Dunn, aimed at helping our young people utilize post-secondary education and training to prepare for a bright career.
Jonathan and team have developed two Communities of Practice (one for access and one for success), focused on increasing effectiveness by collaborative inquiry where practitioners engage in active learning, to improve practice and impact for Milwaukee youth.
To address specific outcomes, cross-institutional work groups have been identified to create and implement strategies that address current barriers to post-secondary success. Current areas of focus include: reducing summer melt into post-secondary, supporting continual academic & career planning, and helping students successfully completing a post-secondary education program.
Additionally, our effort is supported and aligned with the national effort, Community Partnership for Attainment (CPA), a Lumina Foundation-sponsored initiative to increase degree completion. Currently, 16 higher education institutions (private, non-profit and public, 2- and 4-year in southeastern Wisconsin) and other community partners including the Greater Milwaukee Committee are focused on increasing college attainment for Milwaukee youth. The CPA allows us to collaboratively address critical areas that prevent students from enrolling in and completing post-secondary programs. Degree attainment is essential for securing family sustain jobs. Georgetown Public Policy Institute’s research suggests that by 2020, 65 percent of all jobs in the economy will require postsecondary education and training beyond high school (Recovery: Job Growth and Education Requirements through 2020, Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, 2013)
Through the CPA, Milwaukee Succeeds will provide a regional snapshot of college enrollment and other data as well as identification of barriers to college completion and success. Each institution will have an opportunity to share promising practices, challenges and barriers, and relevant data that can help to increase attainment. We will publish our work later this year and roll out the findings to the community. The final report will ultimately develop recommendations for higher education institutions, civic institutions and the larger community, and will serve to inform Milwaukee Succeeds’ larger work in college and career access and success.
This approach has tremendous promise. We know that with a post-secondary education or training, there are almost eight times more available positions than job openings that have no requirements. Although rising, less than 50% of young adults in Milwaukee have an associate’s degree or higher.
See you soon,
Danae Davis | Executive Director
101 W. Pleasant St., Suite 210, Milwaukee, WI 53212