Lakeland named Sheboygan County Chamber Business Education Partner of the Year
Lakeland University was named the Business Education Partner of the Year at the 2023 Sheboygan County Chamber Workforce Development Symposium, held Wednesday at Pine Hills Country Club in Sheboygan.
Lakeland was recognized for positively impacting students and employers through numerous successful partnerships with education, innovative education programs, mentoring and other initiatives that encourage students toward employability excellence.
Attendees heard several presentations on a variety of workforce-related issues, including the shortage of workers, housing and childcare.
Several Lakeland graduates were nominated for the Educator of the Year Award including Tiffany Diven ’13, Sheboygan North High School; Dedric Harris ’96, Central High School; and Anna Wormwood ’15, Howards Grove Middle School.
Three Lakeland Concurrent Academic Progress Program (CAPP) instructors were also nominated: Jason Duff, Warriner Schools; Graig Stone, Sheboygan South High School; and Tom Yedica, North High.
Lakeland was recognized for its efforts to help address workforce development through numerous ongoing programs, including:
Introduced in 2018, Lakeland’s Cooperative Education program offers students full- and part-time jobs at Co-Op partner companies and organizations. Students can earn academic credit for their work and are counseled to use their wages to pay for school. Lakeland is the only fully Co-Op university in the Midwest, and the program has led to some record freshmen classes.
The program debuted at a time when local employers were facing critical labor shortages. It has helped establish Lakeland as an important workforce development resource and talent importer for the region. It allows employers to hire Lakeland students while they’re still undergraduates and help them improve their performance and adapt culturally. It has often led to students earning full-time job offers before graduation.
Free Dual Credit Courses
The Sheboygan Area School District (SASD) and Lakeland have an innovative agreement that expands access to free college-level coursework to eligible SASD students and teachers. The program will debut this fall.
SASD students can graduate simultaneously with a high school diploma and a Lakeland Associate of Arts (A.A.) or Associate of Science (A.S.) degree, making them eligible to transfer to Lakeland – as well as other universities – as a junior. SASD students have free access to Lakeland Concurrent Academic Progress Program (CAPP) courses, which provide high school and college credits simultaneously and significantly reducing the cost of college.
Growing BIPOC Teacher Pool
The Kohler Teaching Scholars program is a scholarship for minority students pursuing a career in education/teaching. Funded by the Kohler Trust for the Arts and Education, the scholarship is available to any minority students pursuing education as a major. Five Lakeland students are currently in the program, which provides scholarship support that, coupled with Lakeland’s Cooperative Education program, creates a unique, competitive pathway to home-grow more Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) teachers for SASD and other neighboring districts.
Addressing Special Ed Teacher Shortage
This recent agreement sets the stage for Lakeland education students who successfully complete the special education program, including student teaching, to be guaranteed a job in the Sheboygan Area School District after graduation. The program allows SASD to address a need for special education teacher candidates at a time when there are increasingly more openings statewide.
In 2020, Lakeland introduced Launch: Lakeland Student-Run Businesses, a venture that empowers students to take charge of their own entrepreneurial journeys. Through Launch, students are provided with the tools and support to create, develop and manage income-generating businesses. These experiences paid opportunities for students and serve as platforms to cultivate cooperative skills and develop strong leadership capabilities.
Students in Launch currently operate four businesses, including Lakeland’s Campus Shop. Launch has attracted national attention, as five students from Launch recently joined some of the top universities in the country in Boston Mass., for the Student Run Business Association’s national conference. Lakeland students helped plan the conference and presented to their peers.
Successful Young Entrepreneurs
Thanks to the acquisition of Jake’s, A Lakeland Community, and the hiring of Stephanie Hoskins as Lakeland’s Herbert Kohler & Frank Jacobson Chair of Business and Entrepreneurship, young entrepreneurs are thriving at Lakeland. First-year Lakeland students Michaela Heling and Ashton Wallace both had success in startup competitions last school year thanks to great ideas and Hoskins’ mentoring.
Sheboygan County Scholars Program
Since its creation in 2014, the Sheboygan County Scholar’s program has provided full-tuition scholarships to 30 students who are selected for meeting rigorous academic standards and completion of a competitive application process. The goal of the program is to retain the area’s most promising young people and prepare them to assume future leadership positions within the region. All scholars have either graduated or are on track to graduate. The ninth class is set to come to campus this fall.
Professional Protocol Lessons
This past school year, Lakeland piloted a program at Random Lake High School to align its professional protocol class (which is part of LU’s Co-Op program) with state-mandated academic and career planning offerings. Lakeland created 15-minute video segments on a variety of topics that make up the course, which RL school counselors aligned with the units they were teaching. Feedback from Random Lakel was very positive, and RL students will be able to take the coursework for high school and college credit this fall. Other districts have expressed interest in a similar partnership.
Mentoring in Schools
A mentoring program, which was initially piloted in 2018, has Black Lakeland students work with Black students attending SASD’s Jackson Elementary School to provide role models and improve their social skills, behavior and reading ability. Activities include one-on-one reading exercises, general mentoring and rapport-building activities. Participants also have an opportunity to visit Lakeland's campus in the hopes of giving aspiring students a feel for the college campus experience.