Daily Bread for 5.20.23: Beyond Enrollment

Good morning.

Saturday in Whitewater will be sunny with a high of 71. Sunrise is 5:26 AM and sunset 8:16 PM for 14h 49m 43s of daytime. The moon is a waxing crescent with 0.8% of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 1862, President Lincoln signs the Homestead Act into law, opening eighty-four million acres (340,000 km2) of public land to settlers:

An extension of the homestead principle in law, the Homestead Acts were an expression of the Free Soil policy of Northerners who wanted individual farmers to own and operate their own farms, as opposed to Southern slave owners who wanted to buy up large tracts of land and use slave labor, thereby shutting out free white farmers.

The first of the acts, the Homestead Act of 1862, opened up millions of acres. Any adult who had never taken up arms against the federal government of the United States could apply. Women and immigrants who had applied for citizenship were eligible.

There are few college administrators or faculty members — and no sensible ones — who think that enrollment numbers alone will secure a school’s future. With declining demographics, colleges are compelled to place more emphasis on retention. Corrinne Hess reports College completion program yields impressive results for Milwaukee students from low-income families (‘All-In Milwaukee graduating its first class with 90 percent success rate’):

Mailyn Santibanez-Tanon was the 2021 valedictorian of Milwaukee Public School’s Reagan High School. The first-generation student knew her parents couldn’t afford to pay for college, so she planned to attend technical college instead. 

To say her plans have drastically changed is an understatement.  

All-In Milwaukee, a college completion program that provides financial aid, advising and career support has been quietly changing the lives of hundreds of limited-income, high potential students in Milwaukee like Santibanez-Tanon. 

Santibanez-Tanon, 19, is now a sophomore at Marquette University. She’s on the dean’s list in the College of Business administration with a double major in accounting and supply chain management. And has already completed an internship at Johnson Controls.  

Now she has plans to study abroad and has two more internships lined up at Johnson Controls and Deloitte. She hopes to become an auditor. 

“It was a long shot to ever aim for Marquette,” Santibanez-Tanon said. “But it has been amazing. It has been a ride.”  

All-In Milwaukee is based on the successful model of Wallin Education Partners in the Greater Twin Cities Area. The Milwaukee program currently has 415 total students, all receiving discounted tuition at eight partner universities and one-on-one mentoring throughout their college careers.

The program has worked. This spring, the first cohort of students is graduating. 

Of the 41 students who enrolled four years ago, 29 are graduating, and another eight are expected to graduate in the next one to two years, said Allison Wagner, executive director of All-In Milwaukee. That’s a 90 percent success rate. 

Programs like this only seem expensive until one considers the enduring benefits of supported graduates who will become supportive alumni. 

New Sunspot blasts flurry of strong m-class flares in amazing time-lapse:

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