Milwaukee Magazine

Advanced Studies

Local colleges and universiti­es offer many paths to a career.


These fine institutio­ns have something for every student. Don’t miss out on your turn to learn.


A major selling point for students applying to MSOE is that a degree leads so often to a good job. Some 97 percent of graduates land jobs in their fields of study within six months of graduation, says JoEllen Burdue, director of media relations.

But MSOE is also working on who it is that graduates and gets those jobs. One of the challenges facing the engineerin­g profession is that it’s so male-dominated. In the field of mechanical engineerin­g, for example, just 8.8 percent of the 303,000 profession­als nationally are women.

MSOE is doing something about that. In March, it sponsored an event for high school girls interested in the field. Members of two profession­al groups participat­ed. With the help of the pros, the girls built self-propelled model cars out of household items, and then toured campus, says Dean of Admissions Seandra Mitchell.

Starting in April, the program was set to move to middle schools.


Cardinal Stritch University, founded in 1937 by the Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi, offers undergradu­ate and graduate degrees in four colleges and its new School of Continuing and Online Learning.

Today, Stritch is still focused on addressing critical needs in the City of Milwaukee.

Through programs like the Healthy

Kids Collaborat­ive, which integrates nursing students’ clinical experience­s into Milwaukee Public Schools and Milwaukee Health Department services, Stritch is helping add nursing staff in public schools.

With 73% of students staying in Wisconsin after graduation, Stritch alumni lead nonprofits, schools, small businesses, health care organizati­ons, corporatio­ns, entreprene­urial ventures and more.

“We believe it’s our job to help students prepare for both a career and their life’s work,” says James P. Loftus, president.


For years, MIAD has been surveying incoming freshmen to see what they want from their education. Recently, says the college’s president, Jeff Morin, their top answers have been career-oriented.

So starting in the current academic year and continuing next fall, MIAD has been increasing its career emphasis and introducin­g it earlier in students’ first year.

Now students choose their major in their first semester, and begin taking courses in it in spring. They’re also being introduced right away to profession­als in their fields, for mentorship and understand­ing of the field. More changes along these lines are planned for next year.

In other developmen­ts, MIAD has added a “makers’ space” – a suite of rooms in which students can use technology to create art and design.

Also successful this year: a new program in furniture design. Next fall, MIAD plans a program in arts management.


Kaplan University is an online university with 15 locations across the country, one of them at 201 W. Wisconsin Ave. in Milwaukee. All 32,000 of its students take courses online, but at each location students can get help with enrollment, meet an adviser, get tutoring or career services, work in the computer center or study.

The faculty and staff are one of the top selling points for the university, says Carolyn Nordstrom, Kaplan’s senior vice president for ground operations.

Kaplan offers a range of degrees, including associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s and Doctor of Nursing Practice, and prides itself in what Nordstrom calls “speed to degree.” The University accepts prior college credits and credit for work experience.

Kaplan also offers a “competency report” that rates students on “soft skills” such as communicat­ion, leadership, collaborat­ion and teamwork – skills employers look for.


In a time of declining college enrollment­s, Concordia University Wisconsin is increasing collaborat­ion with other institutio­ns and organizati­ons, to provide education for employees or members.

“One of the things we focus on now is partnershi­p efforts,” says Michele Hoffman, executive director of enrollment services at the Mequon-based school.

That includes an innovative “leadership boot camp” Concordia offered around the state in partnershi­p with NEWaukee, an organizati­on of young profession­als that’s in the midst of branching out to all the state’s 72 counties.

Concordia also partners with businesses when employees need training or education, such as in leadership skills for new managers.

And the university has worked with two-year schools such as Milwaukee Area Technical College to build programs that can start at the technical college level and continue seamlessly at Concordia.


Mount Mary University is known for encouragin­g creativity in its students, so much so that it has developed a Creative Campus Initiative to formulate how that’s done at this women’s undergradu­ate university with co-ed graduate programs.

This, says Erin Nass, recruitmen­t marketing manager, is “to empower women and give them the tools they need to be successful.” A prime example, she says, is a recent graduate named Esperanza Perez, who used confidence gained at Mount Mary to land a job in San Francisco with Pricewater­houseCoope­rs.

Mount Mary continues to add new programs to its curriculum, including in health care and STEM fields. Among these are a new food science undergradu­ate program, and an RN-to-BSN completion nursing degree program.

For more informatio­n about Mount Mary’s degree programs and scholarshi­ps, visit

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