Lakeland University Blog

Lakeland expands Co-Op in new Milwaukee program

Lakeland expands Co-Op in new Milwaukee program


Lakeland expands Co-Op in new Milwaukee program

Lakeland University has adapted its innovative Cooperative Education program for Milwaukee-area students who need an affordable pathway to college and some barriers removed to make it happen.

The Milwaukee Co-Op year provides students the opportunity to take tuition-free courses for one year, earn college credits by working through LU’s Cooperative Education program and develop a plan for their future.

The Milwaukee Co-Op year blends college coursework and paid employment for students who may be unsure whether they want to go on to college or work. It also provides an avenue for students who would like to begin their post-secondary education, but need to work and cannot afford the expenses associated with attending a traditional residential institution.

Students will take courses at Lakeland's Milwaukee Center, located at 9000 W. Chester St. in Milwaukee, for their first year.

Lakeland will help students find a good-paying, part-time employment at one of Lakeland’s Milwaukee-area Co-Op employer partners.

“After discussions with students, families, schools and various student-centered programs in Milwaukee, we better understand the barriers to college for high school students, and this program is designed to remove those barriers,” said Lakeland President Beth Borgen.

“Students are offered the opportunity to test drive the college experience while clarifying career and educational aspirations, without taking on debt. A major goal of Lakeland Co-Op is addressing economic barriers to college attendance faced by students, providing greater access to the academic and personal growth afforded by higher education, thereby enhancing social mobility and quality of life issues. This is an expansion of Co-Op to Milwaukee.”

The Milwaukee Co-op Year will provide students with:

  • A 100% tuition-funded first year of college, along with tuition-funded pathways for a second, third and fourth year
  • A collegiate experience that blends a good-paying part-time job that also earning college credits through LU's Cooperative Education program, along with classwork designed to help students plan for their future.
  • Cohorted employment and courses that give students classmates to lean on and support.
  • Coaching and placement assistance with part-time employment.
  • Free transportation to the main campus to bring students to Lakeland sporting events, concerts, plays, musicals and other student life programs.
  • Opportunities to get mentoring from Milwaukee-area Lakeland graduates.

After year one, students will have several pathways, and Lakeland will provide personal mentoring to help individual students develop the best plan for their future. Choices include:

  • Earn a two-year or four-year degree from Lakeland in Milwaukee or on Lakeland's main campus.
  • Transfer to another college, including one of our Milwaukee technical college partners.
  • Continue into the workforce.

“Obviously, we hope these students find value in Lakeland after their year with us and want to continue their Lakeland journey,” Borgen said. “But this is about helping young people find the best pathway for their future, and we can leverage our popular Co-Op program to do that.”

For more information, visit the program website or email Lakeland will hold free open houses at its Milwaukee Center on July 22 and 29 at 6 p.m. Participants can learn more about the program and tour the facility.