EAB Moon Shot for Equity Institutions See Growth in Student Success at Third Anniversary

Published: January 22, 2024

Original four Wisconsin institutions that helped launch the project with EAB in 2020 report significant progress on boosting student retention and graduation rates

Moon Shot for EquityWASHINGTON, DC – EAB, the premier provider of higher education research, technology, and enrollment solutions, released preliminary results today from the original cohort of four Milwaukee-area colleges and universities that partnered with the company to launch a national “Moon Shot for Equity” in October 2020. The four institutions (Carthage College, Milwaukee Area Technical College, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and University of Wisconsin-Parkside) have all made significant progress toward fulfilling their pledge to work together and with EAB to substantially boost student success for all students while eliminating equity gaps in student retention and graduation rates by the end of the decade.

Below are highlights from data reported by each school following the completion of the fall 2023 semester:

Carthage College

  • Fall-to-fall retention of all students increased to 82 percent, the highest ever recorded at the institution.
  • Retention of African-American students nearly doubled from 43 to 82 percent.

“I could not be prouder of our faculty and staff for these tremendous results,” said Carthage President John Swallow. “These efforts are making a profound difference in so many students’ lives, and this is what it means for student success to be our North Star.”

Milwaukee Area Technical College

  • The fall-to-fall student retention rate among first-time degree-seeking students increased by 13 percent between the Fall 2020 and Fall 2022 cohorts.
  • The 150 percent graduation rate (those who graduate within 150 percent of the expected time) among first-time full-time degree-seeking students increased by 6 percent between the Fall 2018 and Fall 2020 cohorts. 

“We were proud to join the first-ever Moon Shot cohort because we want to be intentional in closing performance gaps so all students succeed,” said MATC President Vicki J. Martin, Ph.D. “Early results show that our students who use Moon Shot tools are more likely to stay on the path to graduation — and that we are moving toward our 2030 goal of eliminating these gaps. We are encouraged and excited by the fruits of this important work.”

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

  • A reform of minor administrative or financial holds allowed 500 additional students to enroll in the first year. 
  • Donor funding of $5 million helped UWM advance a culture of equity-mindedness, offer scholarships to students seeking to re-enter, and employ advanced technologies for communications and data-driven decision-making. The work has led to a reduction in equity gaps in the one-year retention rate, as well as in the four-year and six-year graduation rates.

“The Moon Shot for Equity has helped UWM make transformational changes to the way we promote student success,” said UWM Chancellor Mark Mone. “I look forward to building upon this momentum with unwavering determination to close achievement gaps.”

University of Wisconsin-Parkside

  • The four-year graduation rate for Hispanic students has increased 10 percentage points since 2020.
  • The four-year graduation rate for Pell Grant-eligible students has increased almost five percentage points. 

“We are pleased with the progress we are making in improving student success on our campus, but we know there is still significant work to be done to fulfill the promise we made to help all our students earn a college degree,” said UW-Parkside Provost Rob Ducoffe. “We remain committed to the Moon Shot for Equity and to accomplishing the goal of erasing equity gaps at our institution.”

Since the inception of the Moon Shot for Equity in late 2020, the program has grown to include 24 colleges and universities across nine regions. Participating colleges are implementing a set of research-based best practices proven to remove systemic barriers to student success. Schools also collaborate with others in their region to establish common academic pathways to facilitate student transfers between two- and four-year institutions. Visit eab.com/moonshot to learn more about the project.

“One of the great things about the Moon Shot for Equity is that it isn’t a zero-sum game,” said EAB Vice President of Partnerships, Tom Sugar. “When you follow research-based best practices proven to help your most vulnerable student populations—and you apply those practices across your institution—you boost the success of all students, producing more college graduates in less time at a lower cost. These early results prove the ‘win-win-win’ benefits to students, institutions, and taxpayers, and they are a credit to the colleges’ commitment to student success.”

About EAB

At EAB, our mission is to make education smarter and our communities stronger. We work with more than 2,500 institutions to drive transformative change through data-driven insights and best-in-class capabilities. From kindergarten to college to career, EAB partners with leaders and practitioners to accelerate progress and drive results across enrollment, student success, institutional strategy, and data analytics. We work with each partner differently, tailoring our portfolio of research, technology, and marketing and enrollment solutions to meet the unique needs of every leadership team, as well as the students and employees they serve. Learn more at eab.com.

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