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Stronger Workforce

More than half of new jobs created in Wisconsin will require some kind of college degree, and more than a third of those will need people with four-year degrees or higher. Today, UW campuses and online degree programs confer more than 33,400 degrees per year.

The majority of those degree-holders continue to call Wisconsin home after graduation. More than 80% of Wisconsin residents who attend a UW institution choose to remain in Wisconsin following graduation, and 85% of all UW System alumni say they were “effectively prepared with the knowledge and skills they needed” in the workplace.

Building on this solid foundation, UW System is focused on new strategies to further strengthen Wisconsin’s workforce:

  • More graduates: The UW System’s More Graduates for Wisconsin initiative plans to boost the cumulative number of graduates by tens of thousands by the year 2025.
  • More seats in UW classrooms: Students today are finishing their degrees faster with fewer credits, saving money and freeing up classroom space. Over the past 16 years, these efficiencies made room for 11,000 more students. Degrees awarded annually have grown 19% over the last decade.
  • New flexible learning options: In Wisconsin, about one in five adults – or 700,000 people – have some college credit, but no degree. Campuses are providing convenient learning opportunities, including accelerated, hybrid, online, evening, and weekend courses. UW System’s new Flexible Degree Initiative intends to provide new pathways for working adults and other nontraditional students, while recognizing competencies gained outside the traditional classroom setting.
  • New pre-college options:  Starting in fall 2013, more high school students will earn high school and UW credit simultaneously as part of a statewide “dual enrollment” initiative to provide earlier access to college classes and reduce the cost of a college degree. Other K-12 outreach efforts include mentoring programs, college tours, and participation in KnowHow2Go, a national campaign to raise college aspirations in young people and teach them how to get there.  These efforts are to counter a trend predicting only three in 10 eighth graders will earn a two- or four-year degree.
  • Expanded transfer opportunities: Students need choices and flexibility in their educational careers. Many programs exist to help students begin college at one UW campus and get their degree from another. The UW System’s nationally recognized Transfer Information System (TIS) uses an interactive online “wizard” to guide students and create seamless cross-campus transfers statewide.
  • College affordability: Compared to other public universities, UW tuition is low, but aid to students with financial need lags. The UW System is partnering to grow new public and private investments in financial aid. These include the Wisconsin Covenant, a program promising students who get good grades and are good citizens a spot in a Wisconsin college, and the Fund for Wisconsin Scholars, a private endowment providing scholarships to lower-income UW and technical college students. A tuition assistance grant, effective for the 2011-12 academic year, offset a portion of tuition for qualifying UW resident undergraduates whose families earn up to the state’s median family income of $60,000 and have unmet financial need. UW Colleges tuition was frozen at 2006 levels through 2010-11, and went up 5.5% for the 2011-12 and 2012-13 academic years.
  • Capacity to meet workforce needs: Today, more than 27% of UW undergraduate degrees are conferred in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM fields). Over the past 20 years, the number of degrees in STEM fields has increased by 46%, while the degrees in health-related fields have increased 39%.
  • Shared learning outcomes: As technological advances transform today’s workplace, employers want college graduates to be adaptable and flexible.  In addition to acquiring specialized knowledge and skills, UW students learn to think critically, write clearly, speak persuasively, understand and appreciate diversity. They work in teams, respect diversity, and bring a sense of informed citizenship to their work lives.

 

UW-Platteville students continue projects with local nature preserve

Posted by on Apr 11, 2014 in Collaboration, Environment, Featured, Responsiveness, Stronger Communities, Stronger Workforce, UW-Platteville | 0 comments

UW-Platteville students continue projects with local nature preserve

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. — The University of Wisconsin-Platteville Pioneer Academic Center for Community Engagement (PACCE) program is funding a student research project to naturally clean algae infested ponds and lakes at both Gooseberry Hill and Lake Joy. Students participating in this research are in the Fundamentals of Biological Investigation class and Invertebrate Zoology class, taught by Dr. Becky Doyle-Morin. The class will be working in cooperation with Gooseberry Hill to reduce its nuisance algae infestation. The students are working to...

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A giant assignment: UW-Stout students make animated music video for Grammy-winning band

Posted by on Apr 2, 2014 in Arts, Collaboration, Cultural Impact, Entrepreneurship, Featured, Responsiveness, Stronger Workforce, Technology, UW-Stout | 0 comments

A giant assignment: UW-Stout students make animated music video for Grammy-winning band

Menomonie, Wis. — Going into their animation class last fall, University of Wisconsin-Stout entertainment design majors knew they would be assigned the obvious — an animation project or two. That in itself was exciting because they were getting into the heart of their undergraduate course work. Then they learned from Assistant Professor Ursula Murray Husted exactly what their main assignment would be: In groups, they would be creating animated music videos for a nationally recognized alternative band, They Might Be Giants. The idea to use...

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UW-Eau Claire’s rigorous first-year writing initiative prepares students for academic, career success

Posted by on Mar 27, 2014 in Collaboration, Featured, Responsiveness, Return on Investment, Stronger Businesses, Stronger Workforce, UW-Eau Claire | 0 comments

UW-Eau Claire’s rigorous first-year writing initiative prepares students for academic, career success

EAU CLAIRE — A newly created rigorous first-year writing program at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire is receiving national recognition for its innovation and effectiveness in helping students develop the strong communication skills employers say they value in new college graduates. The Blugold Seminar in Critical Reading and Writing — designed to ensure that every student is prepared for the reading, writing and researching demands of college and beyond — has received the Writing Program Certificate of Excellence from the national...

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UW-Eau Claire economics graduate chosen to present research on Capitol Hill

Posted by on Mar 21, 2014 in Collaboration, Featured, Responsiveness, Stronger Communities, Stronger Workforce, UW-Eau Claire | 0 comments

UW-Eau Claire economics graduate chosen to present research on Capitol Hill

EAU CLAIRE — Research on food insecurity in Eau Claire and the barriers low-income residents face in gaining access to and preparing healthy food will be on display April 28 as part of Posters on the Hill in Washington, D.C. Laurelyn Sandkamp, a 2013 economics graduate from Lake Geneva, is one out of 60 presenters chosen from more than 600 applications to present her research to top decision-makers in the nation’s capital. Sandkamp began working on the project titled “Nutritional Agency Constraints Among Food Insecure Residents of...

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UW-Stout working on water: Federal grant to support student research into lake pollution

Posted by on Mar 19, 2014 in Agriculture, Collaboration, Environment, Featured, Responsiveness, Return on Investment, Stronger Businesses, Stronger Communities, Stronger Workforce, Tourism, UW-Stout | 0 comments

UW-Stout working on water: Federal grant to support student research into lake pollution

Menomonie, Wis. — How about this for a summer job? Spend eight weeks studying the problem of phosphorous pollution in Menomonie-area lakes. The job pays $500 a week, with a transportation allowance, housing and meals at University of Wisconsin-Stout. Plus, the job includes a mentor to help with getting into graduate school. It’s not too good to be true. A $282,000 grant from the National Science Foundation will allow 10 undergraduates to take part in a new program called LAKES REU, which stands for Linking Applied Knowledge in...

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UW-Parkside: Strong partnership builds new web presence for Town of Somers

Posted by on Mar 11, 2014 in Collaboration, Featured, Online Learning, Responsiveness, Return on Investment, Stronger Businesses, Stronger Communities, Stronger Workforce, Technology, Tourism, UW-Parkside | 1 comment

UW-Parkside: Strong partnership builds new web presence for Town of Somers

SOMERS – When web visitors access www.somers.org they find a well-designed, easy-to-navigate site that conveys important information about the town of Somers, a community of more than 10,000 residents in the southeast corner of Wisconsin, and home to the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. Not long ago, those same visitors may have been challenged to find information and the information they did find was not always up to date. What happened? “Ten years ago, smaller towns did not view the internet as a primary communication tool,” said...

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UW-Stevens Point graduates turn internships into jobs at Skyward

Posted by on Mar 4, 2014 in Collaboration, Featured, Human Resources, Responsiveness, Return on Investment, Stronger Businesses, Stronger Communities, Stronger Workforce, UW-Stevens Point | 0 comments

UW-Stevens Point graduates turn internships into jobs at Skyward

It’s a common paradox for college graduates – getting a job requires experience, but how do you get experience without a job? Thanks to a partnership with Skyward, Inc., students at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point are gaining both. An educational software company based in Stevens Point, Skyward currently employs more than 400 people, 145 of which are UW-Stevens Point alumni. But while Skyward has long recruited interns from computer information systems, it recently began collaborating with the School of Business and Economics to...

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Diploma and a job: UW-Stout food science grad starts work three weeks after classes end

Posted by on Jan 29, 2014 in Agriculture, Featured, Responsiveness, Return on Investment, Stronger Businesses, Stronger Workforce, Technology, UW-Stout | 0 comments

Diploma and a job: UW-Stout food science grad starts work three weeks after classes end

After four years at University of Wisconsin-Stout and two professional internships, one word best describes Cameron Volbrecht: Ready. He’s ready to leave the classroom behind and ready to use his Bachelor of Science degree in food science and technology. That’s exactly what he’ll be doing Monday, Jan. 6, when he begins work full time as a food technologist for Kerry Ingredients in Beloit. Just three weeks after graduating, he will start his career. “I couldn’t be happier about choosing UW-Stout, and the investment in college has paid...

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Fellowships, student loan forgiveness programs part of new Nurses for Wisconsin initiative

Posted by on Jan 21, 2014 in Collaboration, Featured, Healthcare, Responsiveness, Return on Investment, Stronger Communities, Stronger Workforce, UW Oshkosh, UW-Eau Claire, UW-Madison, UW-Milwaukee | 0 comments

Fellowships, student loan forgiveness programs part of new Nurses for Wisconsin initiative

EAU CLAIRE — Four University of Wisconsin System nursing programs are offering new fellowship and loan forgiveness programs to encourage nurses to pursue doctoral degrees or postdoctoral training and assume nurse educator positions in Wisconsin. The overall goal is to address the nursing faculty shortage. The $3.2 million Nurses for Wisconsin initiative — funded through a UW System incentive grant program — comes in response to predictions that Wisconsin could see a shortage of 20,000 nurses by 2035. A current shortage of nurse educators...

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Meeting a regional health care demand: 100% of UW-L physician assistant grads employed

Posted by on Jan 7, 2014 in Collaboration, Featured, Healthcare, Human Resources, Responsiveness, Return on Investment, Stronger Businesses, Stronger Communities, Stronger Workforce, Uncategorized, UW-La Crosse | 0 comments

Meeting a regional health care demand: 100% of UW-L physician assistant grads employed

Forbes Magazine has consistently named physician assistant studies the single best master’s degree because of the favorable outlook for salary and long-term employment of physician assistants (PAs). Talk to local hospitals or UW-La Crosse (UW-L) Career Services professionals, and you’ll see why. “Frankly, these students, once they get their materials in place and learn how to identify positions, they don’t need me,” says Tim Tritch, interim director of UW-L’s Career Services. “They have employers seeking them out.” Physician...

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