MATC Reports Progress in Graduation, Retention Rates

College Celebrates Third Year of Working With EAB’s National “Moon Shot for Equity”

Darryll Fortune,

January 23, 2024

Winter Commencement

Early results show that our students who use Moon Shot tools are more likely to stay on the path to graduation...we are encouraged and excited by the fruits of this important work.

Vicki J. Martin, Ph.D. MATC President

EAB, the premier provider of higher education research, technology, and enrollment solutions, released a progress report today from the original cohort of four Milwaukee-area colleges and universities that partnered with the company to launch a national “Moon Shot for Equity” in October 2020. 

Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC), University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Carthage College, University of Wisconsin-Parkside have all made significant progress toward fulfilling their pledge to work together and with EAB to substantially boost student success for all students while eliminating equity gaps in student retention and graduation rates by the end of the decade.

“We were proud to join the first-ever Moon Shot cohort because we want to be intentional in closing performance gaps so all students succeed,” said MATC President Vicki J. Martin, Ph.D. “Early results show that our students who use Moon Shot tools are more likely to stay on the path to graduation — and that we are moving toward our 2030 goal of eliminating these gaps. We are encouraged and excited by the fruits of this important work.”

Keeping students on track from one year to the next is a building block toward greater graduation rates. Including MATC’s Fall 2023 semester, the college reports:

  • The fall-to-fall student retention rate among first-time degree-seeking students increased by 13 percentage points between cohorts Fall 2020 and Fall 2022
  • The 150% Graduation rates among first-time, full-time degree-seeking students increased by 6% between cohorts Fall 2018 and Fall 2020.

*These graduation rates reflect how many students complete within 150% of the time it would take to complete a credential as a full-time student. For an associate degree, this would typically be three years.

Here are highlights from data reported by the other three schools that worked with EAB:

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

  • A reform of minor administrative or financial holds allowed 500 additional students to enroll in the first year.
  • Donor funding of $5 million helped UWM advance a culture of equity-mindedness, offer scholarships to students seeking to re-enter, and employ advanced technologies for communications and data-driven decision-making. The work has led to a reduction in equity gaps in the one-year retention rate, as well as in the four-year and six-year graduation rates.

“The Moon Shot for Equity has helped UWM make transformational changes to the way we promote student success,” said UWM Chancellor Mark Mone. “I look forward to building upon this momentum with unwavering determination to close achievement gaps.”

Carthage College

  • Fall-to-fall retention of all students increased to 82 percent, the highest ever recorded at the institution.
  • Retention of African-American students nearly doubled from 43 to 82 percent.

“I could not be prouder of our faculty and staff for these tremendous results,” said Carthage President John Swallow. “These efforts are making a profound difference in so many students’ lives, and this is what it means for student success to be our North Star.”

University of Wisconsin-Parkside

  • The four-year graduation rate for Hispanic students has increased 10 percentage points since 2020.
  • The four-year graduation rate for Pell Grant-eligible students has increased almost five percentage points.

“We are pleased with the progress we are making in improving student success on our campus, but we know there is still significant work to be done to fulfill the promise we made to help all our students earn a college degree,” said UW-Parkside Provost Rob Ducoffe. “We remain committed to the Moon Shot for Equity and to accomplishing the goal of erasing equity gaps at our institution.”

About EAB: At EAB, our mission is to make education smarter and our communities stronger. We work with more than 2,500 institutions to drive transformative change through data-driven insights and best-in-class capabilities. From kindergarten to college to career, EAB partners with leaders and practitioners to accelerate progress and drive results across enrollment, student success, institutional strategy, and data analytics. We work with each partner differently, tailoring our portfolio of research, technology, and marketing and enrollment solutions to meet the unique needs of every leadership team, as well as the students and employees they serve. Learn more at

About MATCWisconsin’s largest technical college and one of the most diverse two-year institutions in the Midwest, Milwaukee Area Technical College is a key driver of southeastern Wisconsin’s economy and has provided innovative education in the region since 1912. More than 30,000 students per year attend the college’s four campuses and community-based sites or learn online. MATC offers affordable and accessible education and training opportunities that empower and transform lives in the community. The college offers more than 180 academic programs — many that prepare students for jobs immediately upon completion and others that provide transfer options leading to bachelor’s degrees with more than 40 four-year colleges and universities. Overwhelmingly, MATC graduates build careers and businesses in southeastern Wisconsin. The college is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.