South side location opens; all seniors served at existing north site accepted to college
On the heels of the success of its first TEAM UP College Access Center on the city’s north side, Milwaukee Public Schools is set to celebrated recently the opening of its second College Access Center, this one along highly-visible South 27th Street in the Southgate Marketplace, 3333 S. 27thStreet.
The centers, which are open on evenings and weekends, help demystify the process of learning about and applying to college thanks to the highly-qualified counselors, teachers and advisors on staff.
MPS’ TEAM UP College Access Centers are open to all Milwaukee students, regardless of which school or school system they attend. The counselors, teachers and advisors offer small-group and individual workshops that help students under stand the coursework they’ll need for college, prepare to take the ACT, select/apply for colleges and understand/apply for critical financial aid resources and other supports.
Every single senior who has been served at the existing north side center was accepted into at least one college. Both centers are funded by a grant from the Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation.
“So many of our students are poised to become the first members of their family to attend college,” MPS Superintendent Gregory Thornton said. “That makes this service all the more critical. Thanks to our partners at Great Lakes, we’re giving students and their families a place to come together to prepare for the future.”
“We consider our funding of the centers to be an investment in the students of Milwaukee,” said Amy Kerwin, Chief Educational Opportunities Officer at Great Lakes. “Through this partnership with MPS, more students will receive the support they need to prepare for and succeed in college: personal help in choosing the right classes now, determining the type of school and program to pursue for each student’s interests and abilities, preparing for standardized tests, completing college applications, and applying for financial aid to meet rising college costs. Ultimately, the centers provide another avenue to connect more Milwaukee residents to higher education’s undeniable benefits.”
Between the time the existing north-side center opened in October 2011 and July 2012, 545 students were served, including 180 seniors. Every one of the 180 seniors completed at least one college application and began the process of applying for financial aid. And every one of the 180 seniors was accepted into at least one college.
Nearly half – 44% – of the seniors used the center to assist in scholarship applications. The center delivered more than 1,300 hours of one-on-one college advisement through roughly 1,100 visits.
The south side opening comes at a time when Milwaukee Public Schools continues to implement a college- and career-ready curriculum, based upon the Comprehensive Literacy Plan and Comprehensive Mathematics/Science Plan, to close the gaps students face upon graduation. And this effort comes as MPS has seen its legacy graduation rate rise from 52% for the class of 2000 to 69% for the class of 2011, the most recent year available.
During the school year, both centers are open Monday-Friday from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. The centers close on major holidays. During the summer, winter and spring breaks, they are open Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and closed on weekends. The College Access Center – North is located at 2730 W. Fond du Lac Avenue, Milwaukee 53210.