Milwaukee Parent Institute helps families prepare for higher education

The M3 (pronounced M-Cubed) Milwaukee Parent Institute is a proven program that equips Milwaukee Public Schools elementary, middle, and high school families with the knowledge and skills to help their students graduate and prepare for higher education. Since fall 2021, this program has grown dramatically.

The Milwaukee Parent Institute is a six-week program offered both in person and virtually at schools across MPS. Students and families learn how to plan for college and career, develop behaviors for success, select high school courses to prepare for higher education, and explore career fields.

By expanding from two sessions in the first “baseline” semester to 16 sessions in spring 2023, the program has grown from engaging 66 parents to 275, about a 400% increase. To support the program and continue this growth pattern, MPS has strategically utilized federal funds to hire a school counselor to serve as the Milwaukee Parent Institute Coordinator. Among other responsibilities, the position helps improve the performance of facilitators running the sessions and helps drive recruiting efforts to attract families to the program.

The institute was developed by the Parent Institute for Quality Education (PIQE), which engages, empowers, and transforms families by providing the knowledge and skills to partner with schools and communities to ensure their students achieve their full potential. PIQE uses documented research studies that validate the efficacy of the programs and the impact on student achievement such as grade point averages and graduation rates.

At the conclusion of each session, families and students celebrate their “graduation” from the program. Feedback from participants has been overwhelmingly positive.