Student success. As you can see from the tower of blocks on the cover of this issue of PARKSIDE: The Magazine, student success is a towering topic at UW-Parkside, with many initiatives to support students and numerous factors that play a role in the experiences they have on their path to graduation. By the most straightforward measure – more graduates – UW-Parkside’s student success efforts are working: more than 560 graduates earned their degrees in spring 2021, the largest class in the university’s history.

We are proud of UW-Parkside’s continued growth in graduates, because it means more life-changing educational attainment for our alumni and more talented professionals for our region and beyond. However, we are not taking student success for granted. Our data show that we have more work to do as a university to ensure the full success of all students on our campus, notably students of color, low-income students, and first-generation college-goers.

As we work toward equity in education and in our student outcomes, success coaches play an important role in supporting student success. UW-Parkside’s recently-announced $3 million investment for the new Callahan Scholars program connects students to the support and knowledge of a dedicated coach, along with financial scholarships and success programming for the duration of a student’s educational career. The coaching model continues in the federally-funded Title III grant that UW-Parkside will launch next year. This individualized support paired with other services – many of them co-located in the university’s new Callahan Family Student Success and Learning Commons – will continue to lift UW-Parkside students’ success to new heights.

Our shared vision remains to transform lives and our  2021-22 Distinguished Alumni are a powerful reminder of the university’s tradition of excellence and success throughout the decades. Please learn more about this impressive class of honorees at, and you can count on us to continue sharing stories of student and alumni success!

Debbie Ford

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