M-Cubed Partnership Wins National Recognition at Higher Education Conference

Tony Tagliavia, Director, Marketing and Communications

October 08, 2019

The M3 partnership has earned national recognition for its work to boost student achievement and close equity gaps in Milwaukee by winning an award at the University Economic Development Association conference.

M3 (pronounced M-cubed) prevailed over two other finalists in the “Talent + Place” category at the UEDA national conference in Reno, Nevada on Oct. 1. Talent + Place recognized projects that showed how putting the right people in the right environment benefits the community and economy.

Representatives from each of the M3 partners – the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee Area Technical College and Milwaukee Public Schools – traveled to Reno to deliver the winning presentation, “M3: Harnessing the Power of Education for Talent Development.”

“It's wonderful to see the partnership earn national recognition,” MATC President Dr. Vicki J. Martin said. “This is truly an honor for MATC, MPS and UWM. Thanks to all who make this a special partnership for our students and our communities.”

The three institutions together represent more than 130,000 students in Milwaukee. The collaboration and coordination will increase the retention, graduation and career success of students and provide a prepared workforce and citizenry for the Wisconsin economy, Martin said.

The award represents another encouraging sign for the M3 mission.

“We see the impact of the M3 partnership in the outcome of our students,” MPS Superintendent Keith Posley said. “The success of more students graduating and entering college will make a huge difference in our greater Milwaukee community. This collaboration is well on its way to transforming the city through education.”

M3 reached a major milestone with the graduation of the partnership’s first Early College program class in May. The ceremony celebrated 32 MPS students who got a taste of higher education and earned 10 college credits during the Spring 2019 semester by taking courses at MATC and UWM.

Early College has doubled in size this fall, with more than 60 students now taking 19 college credits over the course of the new academic year.

Another positive development is the rising graduation rate at MPS. The four-year high school completion rate was 66.7% for 2017-18, the last certified figure, up from 59.7% in 2015-16. The target for 2020 is 72%.

Building on these positive signs, leaders and stakeholders from UWM, MATC and MPS are considering new goals that would measure progress well beyond 2020 and include postsecondary achievement.

"We are honored to receive this award,” UWM Chancellor Mark Mone said. “The ultimate winners are the students in Milwaukee whose lives are so positively impacted by the M3 collaboration. The award reinforces our shared commitment to build on a promising start as we strive to forge a true public education network.”

Established in 1976, UEDA has more than 160 members. The association describes its work as bringing together “higher education institutions, private sector businesses, non-profits, government organizations, and community economic development stakeholders to create local and regional economic opportunity.”