Lakeland University and Milwaukee Area Technical College have created a new partnership that will expand MATC's Promise program and provide a pathway to a bachelor's degree for economically disadvantaged students in the Milwaukee area who never thought that goal was possible.
The MATC Promise was the first program of its kind in Wisconsin, providing free tuition for eligible students. This public-private "last dollar" partnership covers tuition and fees for program courses, after other grants and scholarships are applied, for up to 75 credits. Students may be responsible for other fees and for the cost of books.
Lakeland will establish a significant scholarship fund that will extend the Promise to MATC direct-from-high school Promise and Promise-eligible students who earn their associate degree and plan to attend classes as a full-time student. For many of the graduates, the scholarship will cover all tuition after federal and state financial grant aid has been applied.
If the scholarship does not cover all tuition, Lakeland will assist students in securing paid experiences through its Cooperative Education program that will keep the cost manageable.
Lakeland will provide flexible course times to meet the needs of students, including daytime and evening courses that will be held at Lakeland's Milwaukee Center at 9000 W. Chester St., through online courses and, in the future, at MATC.
MATC Promise eligibility details are available at matc.edu/promise. Eligible students will be able to apply for the Lakeland scholarship by working with a Lakeland representative assigned to MATC.
"The spirit of MATC's Promise is very exciting to us," said Lakeland President David Black. "It ties to Lakeland's mission of using the liberal arts and experiential learning to educate people of diverse backgrounds and prepare them to think critically, communicate effectively, succeed professionally and lead ethical, purposeful and fulfilling lives.
"As we provide more people in Milwaukee with access to higher education, we're working with MATC to expand the talent pipeline for area employers and we are committed to students graduating with no debt or as little debt as possible," Black said.
MATC President Vicki Martin said the MATC Promise has helped students earn more than 20,000 college credits and ensure that debt from tuition will not be a lifelong burden.
"This partnership with Lakeland provides a path to a four-year degree that opens access to careers that require education beyond an associate degree, continuing our vision of connecting students to family-supporting careers and building the workforce our region needs," she said.