LUMINA TALENT HUB
In 2017, Kenosha and Racine counties were designated as a Lumina Talent Hub through the Lumina Foundation. The Talent Hub is a partnership between UW-Parkside, Gateway Technical College, Building Our Future, and Higher Expectations for Racine County, focusing on increasing retention and graduation rates for traditional-age students. In 2021, this work completed its fourth year of designation as a Lumina Foundation Talent Hub. The collaborative effort continues to focus on improving the K-16 math pipeline.
HIGHER EDUCATION REGIONAL ALLIANCE (HERA)
Building off the Lumina Talent Hub, Building Our Future worked alongside Higher Expectations for Racine County and Milwaukee Succeeds to support the creation of the Higher Education Regional Alliance (HERA). HERA is a collaborative of 18 southeastern Wisconsin public and private, two- and four-year colleges and universities and a network of partner organizations who are dedicated to closing achievement gaps on each of their campuses, representing more than 150,000 students. In 2021, HERA continued to work with the 18 post-secondary institutions in the region to scale post-secondary success strategies through monthly coaching, data, and action.
MOON SHOT FOR EQUITY
When institutions work together, they can improve outcomes for all Kenosha County residents. In 2020, two post-secondary institutions in the Building Our Future partnership - UW-Parkside and Carthage College - joined together with Milwaukee Area Technical College and the UW-Milwaukee - to be the first regional consortium of colleges and universities to commit to “Moon Shot for Equity.”
Moon Shot for Equity is a first-of-its-kind national initiative aimed at ending equity gaps in higher education by 2030. The four institutions will work together with education firm EAB to help more underrepresented students of color and other historically underserved populations graduate from college. To date, the institutions have created five work teams focused on: hold reform, holistic care, retention grants, transfer pathways, and equity mindedness. Each institution is also participating in a year-long equity-focused professional development series and is in the process of administering the University of Southern California Campus Climate Survey.
WISCONSIN WORKFORCE INNOVATION GRANT
Gateway Technical College —in partnership with BOF, Higher Expectations for Racine County, the Southeast WI Workforce Development Board, and the YWCA Southeast Wisconsin—received a $5.6 million grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation and the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development to expand the successful model for adult learners to earn their high school equivalency diploma. There are currently 30,000 adults in Southeast Wisconsin without a high school credential. This partnership will increase the opportunity for adults to earn their high school equivalency credential through expanded program access, increased technology support, and regional career navigators to recruit and support student success.
In October 2021, UW-Parkside launched a new scholarship program to support students with financial need, with an emphasis on Kenosha County students and students of color. Thanks to a generous gift from the Mary Frost Ashley Charitable Trust, the Callahan Scholars program will fund scholarships, provide success coaching, and offer engagement opportunities to support student success. The creation of the Callahan Scholars program continues UW-Parkside’s progress in strengthening student outcomes. UW-Parkside recently graduated its two largest classes in spring 2020 and spring 2021, keeping the university on track to achieve its key goal of increasing graduate numbers by 50 percent by 2025.
Being chosen as a
The University of Wisconsin-Parkside remains committed to partnering with Building Our Future to advance our shared education and community engagement goals. The focus on improving equity aligns with the mission and vision of UW-Parkside and positions Kenosha as a stronger community. I am proud of the progress and momentum we have established and look forward to our continued efforts.”
These disparities have existed far too long in every