M-cubed Teachers and Staff Continue to Make Connections

Connection, coordination and collaboration.

Teachers and administrators from Milwaukee Area Technical College, Milwaukee Public Schools and the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee have embraced these elements to transform the future of education in Milwaukee through their M³ (pronounced M-cubed) partnership.

Faculty and staff from the three institutions have met at least once a year since the M³ partnership began in 2017 to align curriculum in core academic disciplines — English language arts, math and science — and to emphasize key learning outcomes, such as soft skills.

In February, M³ educators met at MATC in the first face-to-face session since 2020. The sessions in 2021, 2022 and 2023 were virtual following the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Faculty across the institutions engaged in collaborative discourse that enhanced their understanding of how and what our students learn throughout their educational experience,” said Julie Ashlock, director of MATC’s Center for Teaching Excellence. “These efforts are intended to improve student learning and student outcomes.”

The annual professional development day has been offered in various forms in the past, but the February event demonstrated the benefits of in-person collaboration, Ashlock said.

Participants were surveyed and satisfaction scores had improved from the previous year, Ashlock said. Educators appreciated the opportunity to reflect, share ideas, and discuss strategies with colleagues from their own schools and other institutions, she said.

The M³ Teaching and Learning group has begun planning the 2025 professional development day.

The group hopes to offer mini grants to partnership faculty to conduct research that supports aligning and improving student learning outcomes.

“The goal would be to have these faculty showcase what they have learned and share any promising practices with their peers,” Ashlock said.