FRI AM News: UW System, tech colleges developing STEM pathway transfer program; WisBusiness: the Podcast with Mandy McGowan, UW Health Care Direct

— Leaders of the UW System and Wisconsin Technical College System are developing a new pathway transfer program for students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering and math. 

Speaking yesterday during a Wisconsin Technology Council event in Wauwatosa, WTCS President Morna Foy said the program isn’t finalized yet, but expects to make an announcement in the near future. 

“Students will go through a two-year associate degree at a technical college, any technical college, and then they would be admitted as juniors into UW institutions in a number of STEM areas: biology, chemistry, math, physics, engineering,” she said. 

Along with getting more students into STEM career pipelines, Foy said the program aims to make the transfer process easier. 

“That has always been the number one problem — we promise it, we like the idea of it, everybody is externally saying ‘this is so great’ — but then when students actually try to do it, they encounter all sorts of problems,” she said. “We want to erase that.” 

Yesterday’s event focused on the role of Wisconsin’s higher education systems in supporting and driving the state’s tech economy. UW System President Jay Rothman stressed the importance of preparing graduates for “the job that does not yet exist” by focusing on emerging industries and disciplines. 

“Nearly 40 percent of our graduates today are in the STEM or health care fields, and that’s up 30 percent in the last 10 years,” he said. “We have really tried to … move toward where the demand is in the market, and what is necessary, what employers are telling us they need.” 

Plus, he noted nearly half of the new programs launched in the last five years at UW System campuses are in STEM fields. 

Meanwhile, Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities President Eric Fulcomer noted independent institutions in the state are also focused on preparing their graduates for cutting-edge tech fields. 

Of the association’s 22 schools, nine offer degrees in engineering, 14 offer computer science or information technology degrees, 15 offer math and statistics degrees and 17 offer biology or biomedical degrees. WAICU schools in 2021 awarded 2,500 STEM degrees, making up about 19 percent of all degrees for the year, Fulcomer said. 

“Almost three-quarters of our graduates stay in Wisconsin after they graduate, so we are providing a significant number of students every year for the Wisconsin workforce,” he said. 

Listen to a podcast from earlier this year with Fulcomer: 

— Overall UW System enrollment has increased 3 percent this year, according to fall preliminary estimates. But most branch campuses face enrollment declines.

The 10-day estimates show fall enrollment is down at eight of 13 universities, while enrollment is up at UW-Madison, UW-Green Bay, UW-Platteville, UW-Stevens Point and UW-Whitewater. Those schools saw increases between 3.4 and 1.2 percent. The decreases for the other campuses ranged from 3.5 percent to 0.2 percent.

According to the estimates, 161,322 students enrolled for fall 2023. That’s a 540-student increase from the 160,782 students that enrolled in fall 2022. Excluding UW-Madison, enrollment is down 1 percent, or by 111,067 students.

The numbers come as 10 of the 13 universities are facing structural deficits, leading some to take new steps to address financial challenges. UW-Oshkosh is expecting more than 200 layoffs and voluntary departures, while UW-Platteville and UW-Parkside are considering layoffs and furloughs.

UW-Parkside saw a 0.9 percent decrease from last fall, while UW-Oshkosh saw a 1.7 percent decrease. UW-Platteville saw a 3.3 percent increase in enrollment.

Most of the branch campuses saw a decrease in enrollment, while UW-Green Bay Manitowoc, UW-Platteville Baraboo Sauk County and UW-Whitewater Rock County saw increases. The end of in-person instruction at UW-Plattevillle Richland last year prompted concerns about the fate of the remaining 13 branch campuses.

The data show fall enrollment is down by 272 students across branch campuses at 4,803 students. Of the branch campuses, UW-Milwaukee Waukesha saw the most significant decrease, with 664 enrollments compared to 790 last fall.

UW System President Jay Rothman in a virtual press conference touted a 3 percent increase in new freshman enrollment, excluding UW-Madison, which sought to reduce the amount of incoming freshman after last year’s class was larger than anticipated. The amount of new freshmen is estimated to have increased by 592 students, excluding UW-Madison.

“We’re not producing enough graduates today to fulfill and to fill the jobs that state employers are creating. This is a step toward achieving that objective,” Rothman.

See the release:

See the enrollment numbers:

— This week’s episode of “WisBusiness: the Podcast” is with Mandy McGowan, director of home-based care programs for UW Health Care Direct. 

She discusses a new home-based hospital care program, which launched at UW Health earlier this summer. The program offers inpatient acute care for patients at home through a combination of telemedicine, home visits, physical therapy and other services. 

“This type of care has actually been in existence since the mid-1990s, so this is not brand-new … What is different is since the public health emergency, Medicare at the federal level has really recognized this type of care and seen the value of this type of care being covered by Medicare and Medicaid,” she explained. 

The federal government now offers a waiver that hospitals can apply for to provide this at-home inpatient care, McGowan said. UW Health had been developing its program for about two years before announcing it at the end of August. 

Since the health system launched the program in July, patients have been saying “they are so happy to be home” while receiving care, according to McGowan. 

“Patient experience is first and foremost number one,” she said. “In addition, there are better outcomes for care like this. So most importantly, patients are sleeping better when they’re at home, they’re on their own schedule, less risk for hospital-acquired infections, and greater mobility.” 

Listen to the podcast here: 

See the full list of podcasts: 

<br><b><i>Top headlines from the Health Care Report…</b></i> 

— Planned Parenthood says it will resume abortion services in Wisconsin on Monday at its clinics in Madison and Milwaukee.

And UW-Madison researchers have developed a new method for improving compatibility between organ recipients and donated kidneys. 

<i>For more of the most relevant news on COVID-19, reports on groundbreaking health research in Wisconsin, links to top stories and more, sign up today for the free daily Health Care Report from and</i> 

Sign up here:

— The Department of Revenue predicts personal income in the state will rise in the next two years, despite the influence of inflation. 

In the agency’s latest economic forecast report, DOR says nominal personal income in Wisconsin will grow 5 percent this year and 4.1 percent in 2024. Adjusted for inflation, real personal income is forecasted to rise 1.1 percent this year, and 1.6 percent in both 2024 and 2025. 

Meanwhile, wages and salaries in Wisconsin are expected to grow 5 percent this year and 3.8 percent in 2024, according to DOR. 

“The Fed’s policy of higher rates will slow employment growth while lowering inflation, bringing growth of wages and salaries, and personal income, down too,” report authors wrote. 

Total nonfarm employment is projected to grow 1.6 percent this year before stabilizing for the next three years, aside from some “small up and down changes.” For this year, service industries such as hospitality, education and health services are driving much of Wisconsin’s job growth. 

See the full report: 

— Wisconsin’s unemployment rate rose to 2.9 percent in August, according to the latest figures from the state Department of Workforce Development. 

That’s an increase of 0.3 percentage points from July’s rate of 2.6 percent, the DWD release shows, and comes after state unemployment hit a record-low 2.4 percent in April and May. It remains below the U.S. rate of 3.8 percent. 

Meanwhile, total nonfarm jobs reached a new record high of 3,012,400 last month, for an increase of 32,800 jobs over the year. And the state’s labor force participation rate rose slightly, from 65.5 percent in July to 65.7 percent in August. That’s above the national rate of 62.8 percent, DWD notes. 

See the release: 

— The Assembly has approved a package of child care bills Republicans argue are designed to make it easier for child care providers to expand services and save money.

The six-bill package includes measures that would create a revolving loan program for facility renovations, among other things. The package also creates a new category of licenses, which means there would be licenses for serving up to four children, four to eight children and more than eight children.

Every measure passed along party lines except two, with Rep. Scott Allen, R-Waukesha, joining Dems on two measures.

Allen told WisPolitics some Republican ideas “may be less helpful than others.”

“I appreciate the overall approach taken by this package of bills but felt that AB 390 and AB 391 were less effective than the others,” he said.

See details on all the bills at WisPolitics: 

— A new Wisconsin Policy Forum report finds the gap between assessments and market values is the largest the state has seen in recent history.

More than 800 municipalities have assessed values for their collective properties that are less than 80 percent of their market value. That’s the biggest gap since 2011 and likely much longer.

The report notes such gaps can be driven by rapid changes in property values due to a recession, economic expansion or other events. The current gap is driven, in part, by significant increases in equalized values in 2022 and 2023 as they rose by more than 13 percent. Those are the two largest increases on a percentage basis in the last four decades.

The gap means when reassessments occur, many property owners will see big increases in their assessed value. Still, the report notes that won’t necessarily translate into higher property taxes. That’s because the state limits increases in operating levies to net new construction. Only those owners who see assessments increase by a greater amount than the average change for all properties in a community would seek a significant hike.

Read the report:


# Wisconsin UAW locals prepare to strike

# Inspectors say Milwaukee’s Housing Authority at risk of ‘serious fraud’

# Regal Rexnord will complete layoffs at West Milwaukee facility in November



– New Wisconsin Soybean Board members elected 

– Wisconsin apple, grape growers report ‘beautiful’ crop this fall despite ongoing drought 


– Citizens Bank plans to build branch in Muskego, replacing café


– Wisconsin Senate votes to override veto that provided 400 years of funding for public schools

– UW System enrollment holds steady, with most universities reporting modest declines


– Waukesha’s shift to Great Lakes water was a yearslong battle. Will other diversions follow?


– Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin to resume abortion services

– Planned Parenthood announces it is resuming abortions in Wisconsin

– Planned Parenthood to resume abortion care in Wisconsin

– Madison’s behavioral crisis responders to add weekend service


– Regal Rexnord tells state it will close West Milwaukee plant in November

– Luxury boat manufacturer Grand Craft unveils new hybrid model

– Does your city have a product competing in Wisconsin’s ‘coolest thing’ contest?


– Toya Washington lands gig with Madison media company


– Madison’s street-naming rules deter diversity, critics say


– The Buzz: Downtown Menasha has gained a new home goods store


– CeLani Skin & Wellness wins 2023 Rev-Up MKE pitch competition


– World’s Largest Six-Pack Pub Crawl set for Sept. 30 as event’s namesake gets a facelift


– Bridge in Chippewa Falls closes to vehicle traffic after failing inspection


– Waukesha delays switch to Lake Michigan water until Oct. 9


<i>See these and other press releases: </i>

UW-Madison: New technique creates tolerance of transplanted kidneys

Marquette University: Offering full slate of events to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, Sept. 15-Oct. 15