Obama’s Free Community College Proposal Could be Transformative:

Too many people don’t realize that the average community college student is …a 29-year-old woman who attends school part time while working to support herself, according to the American Association of Community Colleges. She very well might be supporting her kids, too, since nearly one-third of community college students are parents.

And America’s prospective students often can’t afford tuition. Even though community college is cheap compared to many private institutions, its cost is a major barrier for low-wage workers who need an education to seek better jobs. More than two-thirds of adult students who drop out of college likely do so because they don’t have the money to continue, according to data from the Apollo Research Institute.

Our current financial aid programs aren’t big enough to meet the need, and they’re constantly threatened by budget cuts.

Obama’s proposal offers tuition-free community college for students who attend at least half time, keep their average above 2.5 and make steady progress toward a degree.

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Community Colleges Change Lives

“Community colleges accept more than just everyone’s application. Community colleges welcome all students and support them in their pursuit to improve their lives with education. There’s a reason no other academic institution is more accepting.”

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Fact Sheet on President Obama’s proposal to make two-year colleges free:

Nearly a century ago, a movement that made high school widely available helped lead to rapid growth in the education and skills training of Americans, driving decades of economic growth and prosperity. America thrived in the 20th century in large part because we had the most educated workforce in the world.  But other nations have matched or exceeded the secret to our success. Today, more than ever, Americans need more knowledge and skills to meet the demands of a growing global economy without having to take on decades of debt before they even embark on their career. 

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tom hanks

Tom Hanks Says Community College Made Him Who
He Is Today

Famed actor and director Tom Hanks penned an op-ed reflecting on his time in community college, crediting it as the "place [that] made me what I am today."

Hanks writes in the New York Times on Wednesday that he applied to some prestigious schools knowing full-well they wouldn't accept a student like him with low SAT scores. He decided to go to Chabot College, a community college that accepted everyone and was free.

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Milwaukee Area Technical College

On Campus: What do you teach?

Robin Mosleth: I am a registered nurse, and I have taught nursing courses since 1980. I have worked at MATC in the School of Health Sciences for 11 years. Previously, I worked in both clinical and management positions, and I have taught elsewhere at both two- and four- year institutions. I specialize in mental health, community nursing, and management and leadership.

I mainly teach courses in those areas now, but I've also taught students at the very begin- ning of their program. Currently, I teach stu- dents who are typically in their fourth and fi- nal semester in clinical and theory courses in which they transition into practicing as entry- level nurses. This 16-week semester prepares them to take their licensing exam. I find it exciting and very rewarding to see how far students come in 16 weeks.

Click here to read more.

The American Federation of Teachers Local 212/MATC issued the following statement in response to President Obama's proposal to make public two- year higher education free for students who work hard and are making progress towards a degree.

All Wisconsin students deserve a high-quality, affordable and accessible higher education. Our 21st-century economy needs an educated workforce armed with the skills needed to compete in an increasingly competitive global economy. Providing free community college for hardworking students will expand educational opportunity, strengthen our workforce, grow the Wisconsin economy and expand investment in the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) which has been hard hit by austerity budgets at the state level.

Click here to view press release (pdf)

Local 212 Milwaukee Latino Bilingual Book Campaign

On Sunday, January 4th, the  American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Local 212/MATC, the Wisconsin Federation of Nurses and Healthcare Professionals (WFNHP), and Voces de la Frontera distributed hundreds of new bilingual books to the children of the families who attend Saint Hyacinth Church and Saint Vincent DePaul Parish on Milwaukee’s southside.

Following each church’s mass celebrating Three Kings Day, the children assembled at the front of the church and were read a story in English and Spanish by County Board Chair Marina Dimitrievic and Milwaukee School Board Director Tatiana Joseph. They were joined by Alderman Jose Perez, County Board member Peggy West and AFT 212’s Luz Sosa in giving each child a gift wrapped, bilingual book.

Christine Neumann-Ortiz, Voces de la Frontera Executive Director said, “We are proud to be part of the Three Kings book distribution.  It elevates the importance and love of reading by putting books in the hands of children and sharing storytelling.  For 16 million children living in poverty only one in three has a book in the home.”

Michael Rosen, President of AFT Local 212, the union spearheading the book distribution, explained that :” Investing in early childhood education is the best investment any community can make. Milwaukee’s minority student achievement gap is unacceptable. This campaign is designed to address it by promoting the love of reading. Children who love to read succeed academically.”   

This is the third year that the Milwaukee Latino First Book Project has distributed books.

First Books, a national non-profit organization dedicated to encouraging literacy and a love of reading, is the Milwaukee Latino First Book Books Project national partner. 


Scott Walker's $1.8 billion budget shortfall

Wisconsin has a jobs problem and an employment crisis!

We do have a jobs problem, and it is because we have a leadership problem.

The two candidates vying for Governor met on the debate stage for the first time last week. Televised political debates are largely opportunities for candidates to recite prepared talking points and their campaign stump speeches, but there was one moment where Scott Walker went off script and accidently showed us his true colors.

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Where is Brad Schimel?

When it comes to protecting Wisconsin students, veterans, and families Susan Happ has taken the lead while Brad Schimel is nowhere to be found.

For-profit colleges are facing increased scrutiny across the country following their explosive growth in the last decade, and they have recently become a key issue in the race for Wisconsin Attorney General . Corporate and private businesses operating as institutions of higher education have launched an attack on students, veterans, and low-income families. Sixty thousand Wisconsin students pay $368 million in tuition to mostly out of state companies operating 230 institutions across the state .

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Private lenders refuse to help students despite $100 billion bailout:

Private student lenders are not doing enough to help struggling borrowers avoid default, according to a reportreleased Thursday by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

That finding is part of the consumer bureau’s annual analysis of the complaints it received from the public about private student loans. The bureau reported a 38 percent increase in such complaints over the past year.

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susan Happ gets it

Happ Campaign:
Happ lays out plan to deal with for-profit college scams

Jefferson — Attorney General candidate Susan Happ will crack down on the growing number of for-profit colleges that prey on Wisconsin students and veterans, she said Friday. 

“Unscrupulous for-profit colleges are luring students with promises they can’t keep, leaving many of them with no degrees of little value or no degrees at all, but mountains of debt,” Happ said. “As Attorney General, I will investigate, prosecute and seek hefty penalties for deceptive practices, and work to see that students are made whole,” she said. 

Click here to read more.

Hit Doors for Burke

MATC faculty and students rally against student debt:


MILWAUKEE-Local student Saul Newton is watching with keen interest a new award winning documentary about student loan debt called "Ivory Tower."

He wants to enlighten people who think joining the military means free education.

"I joined the army because I could no longer afford my education," Newton told CBS 58 News, "And while I was in Kandahar do daily patrols, I was also making payments on my students loans."  

Click here to read more and view video.





Click here to view PDF.


The James Shay Stear Swinford video:

upcoming events

Campus Handbook and Local 212 Certification Update meetings:

Downtown Campus - T. Auditorium - Friday, Jan. 16th
(Convocation Day), 12:00 p.m.

For members who will not be at the Downtown Campus this Friday, please plan to attend one of the following meetings at the outlying campuses:

Oak Creek Campus: Thursday, Jan. 22nd, 12:00 p.m., Lecture Hall A
Mequon Campus: Wednesday, Jan. 28th, 12:00 p.m., Room A131 West Allis Campus: Thursday, Jan. 29th, 12:00 p.m., Room 117 ********************************************************************
For Paras: Meetings will be held Downtown on Tuesday,
Jan. 20th in Room M616 at 12:00 p.m. and 4:15 p.m.

Executive Board Meetings:
Wednesday, January 21 at 4:15
 at the 212 office

AFT Scholarships announced

The Robert G. Porter scholarship is now accepting applications. It offers four 4-year, $8,000 post-secondary scholarships to students who are dependents of AFT members, as well as 10 one-time $1,000 grants to AFT members to assist with their continuing education.

Scholarship Eligibility

  • The AFT Robert G. Porter Scholars Program for high school students is open to graduating high school seniors.
  • Applicants must have at least one parent or legal guardian who is an AFT member.
  • The AFT member whose child or legal dependent applies for a scholarship must be a member in good standing for at least one year.
  • Children or legal dependents of AFT national, state or local union staff are not eligible for this scholarship opportunity.

For more information go to:

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