April 17, 2017—Madison, WI – The Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) recently learned that a $1.3 million, three-year grant from Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates will allow Wisconsin to become the fourteenth state to implement a Student Success Center. Student Success Centers now serve over half of U.S. public community colleges.
The WTCS Student Success Center is designed to provide a common framework for aligning and prioritizing college completion strategies and initiatives, and to effectively disseminate successful strategies and lessons learned across institutions.
“Great Lakes is excited to partner with the Wisconsin Technical College System and Jobs for the Future to bring the Student Success Center model to Wisconsin,” said Amy Kerwin, Vice President of Community Investments at Great Lakes. “The model will allow the state’s community colleges to implement evidence-based reforms at scale – rather than as pilots – to help more students earn a degree or certificate. Joining the Student Success Center Network will allow the Wisconsin center to collaborate with, learn from, and share technical assistance resources with the 13 other states operating centers.”
The WTCS Student Success Center will analyze and share student outcomes data and develop a set of common policy goals, prioritizing completion for all students. With technical assistance from Jobs for the Future (JFF), a national nonprofit that builds educational and economic opportunity for underserved populations, the WTCS Student Success Center will also inform and engage other state and local partners in this effort, including local K-12 and workforce and economic development organizations.
“We are very excited to see Wisconsin join the growing national network of Student Success Centers,” said Chris Baldwin, Senior Director of State Policy and Network Relations at JFF. “As is the case in the other 13 network states, the Wisconsin Center will provide critical infrastructure and technical assistance to colleges in their efforts to improve student outcomes.”
Over the grant period, WTCS expects to refine its data infrastructure and dissemination to best drive student-focused, data-based decisions; establish a community of practice to broaden and accelerate the use of proven, high-impact student success strategies; better align state and national completion initiatives; and leverage the knowledge and experience available through the JFF Student Success Center Network.
“This is the next phase in our valuable, student-focused collaboration with Great Lakes,” said WTCS President Dr. Morna K. Foy. “The inclusion of technical assistance from the highly-regarded experts at Jobs for the Future will allow us to expand and accelerate the implementation of proven student success strategies,” Foy said.
About Great Lakes
Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates helps students nationwide prepare for and succeed in postsecondary education and student loan repayment. Great Lakes’ education philanthropy program has committed over $200 million in grant funding since 2006 to promote higher education access and completion for students from low-income households, students of color, and first-generation students—so they can go on to transform their lives, their families, and our communities.
About Jobs for the Future
Jobs for the Future (JFF) is a national nonprofit that builds educational and economic opportunity for underserved populations in the United States. JFF develops innovative programs and public policies that increase college readiness and career success and build a more highly skilled, competitive workforce. With over 30 years of experience, JFF is a recognized national leader in bridging education and work to increase economic mobility and strengthen our economy.
About Wisconsin Techincal College System
The Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) offers more than 400 programs awarding two-year associate degrees, one- and two-year technical diplomas and short-term technical diplomas and certificates. In addition, the System is a major provider of customized training and technical assistance to Wisconsin employers. Over 320,000 individuals access the technical colleges each year.