News: NCAN News

NCAN Welcomes 13 Wisconsin School Districts Through Great Lakes ‘Text Steps’ Project

Monday, November 5, 2018  
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By Zenia Henderson, Director of Member & Partner Engagement

On Sept. 12, 2018, Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates announced a new project to help Wisconsin school districts combat summer melt by providing over half a million dollars in combined grants. The Text Steps project will provide the support and startup funding that districts need to provide a summer melt prevention program using a text messaging strategy for 2018-20. As part of the project, the districts will also receive NCAN membership.

Summer melt prevention strategies were born from the extensive research of Dr. Ben Castleman of the University of Virginia and Dr. Lindsay Page of the University of Pittsburgh. Their extensive research found that well-timed outreach to prospective first-year college students the summer after they completed high school increased college enrollment that fall.

Some of this research was done in 2015 among three Wisconsin public school districts, which was the start of the Text Steps project for Great Lakes. Great Lakes President and Chief Executive Officer Richard D. George refers to their grantmaking being “all about building opportunity.” Indeed, Great Lakes is building opportunity as they strategically provide funding with support to help these school districts build capacity to ensure students reach their postsecondary goals. As NCAN members, the selected Wisconsin school districts will have the full benefits of NCAN membership, including access to our online e-learning platform, members-only webinars, news, and more!

NCAN applauds Great Lakes for their innovative strategy of providing support to public school districts to implement a proven postsecondary access practice. A recent Post Crescent article notes that “many schools are trying to make sure families find out what sorts of higher education help they can get” as they take on issues like low FAFSA completion rates across the state. The article goes on to indicate that “high schools that are stretched thin … are trying to figure out ways to better help their students.” There’s mention of Wisconsin Rapids Public Schools’ efforts through the Text Steps grant opportunity provided by Great Lakes.

We welcome the following 13 school districts to NCAN and look forward to supporting them in their summer melt prevention work as well as learning from their efforts in closing the equity gap in postsecondary success for their students.

  • Adams-Friendship Area School District (Friendship, WI)
  • Unified School District of Antigo (Antigo, WI)
  • School District of Fort Atkinson (Fort Atkinson, WI)
  • Green Bay Area Public School District (Green Bay, WI)
  • School District of La Crosse (La Crosse, WI)
  • School District of Monroe (Monroe, WI)
  • Racine Unified School District (Racine, WI)
  • Sheboygan Area School District (Sheboygan, WI)
  • School District of South Milwaukee (South Milwaukee, WI)
  • St. Francis School District (St. Francis, WI)
  • Watertown Unified School District (Watertown, WI)
  • West Allis-West Milwaukee School District (West Allis, WI)
  • Wisconsin Rapids Public Schools (Wisconsin Rapids, WI)