Admit Day attendees surround Mid-State’s mascot, Grit, and Mid-State President Dr. Shelly Mondeik while showing their Mid-State pride by holding up cougar paws, at the May 2023 Admit Day celebration on the Wisconsin Rapids Campus.
October 17, 2023

Mid-State Technical College admits all 2024 graduating seniors in its district

October 17, 2023

Mid-State Technical College is partnering with 21 high schools in its district to admit over 1,550 graduating high school seniors through Direct Admission. Some high schools will have their entire senior class directly admitted to Mid-State and others will offer their students a choice to opt into being directly admitted.

Mid-State’s Direct Admission program supports the 60 Forward initiative, a partnership between the Wisconsin Technical College System, the UW System and the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, to reduce college admissions barriers and increase post-secondary attainment of 60 percent by 2027. 

The 60 Forward initiative was created in response to findings in the Lumina Foundation’s A Stronger Nation Report. The report found that 60 percent of the national workforce between the ages of 25 and 64 will need a post-secondary credential by 2025 to meet the demands of industry and provide a stronger personal economic future. Currently, Wisconsin’s average post-secondary attainment is about 48 percent.

Mid-State began the Direct Admission initiative in 2021 with Adams-Friendship High School (AFHS). Due to the program’s success, they have expanded it this year.

“Over the past three years at Adams-Friendship High School, we have seen huge increases in our graduating seniors pursuing post-secondary education and training at Mid-State,” said Kevin Moore, principal of Adams-Friendship High School. “This is clearly due in part to the Admit Day process, celebrations and support that is provided to students in addition to the strong partnership between AFHS and Mid-State. Direct Admission, along with the follow-up support by Mid-State Outreach Coordinators, ensures that students have what they need to enroll and find success at Mid-State.”

“We are excited to expand this project to include our entire district and provide post-secondary inclusive access to all graduating high school students,” said Jackie Esselman, dean of Recruitment and Admissions. “Through the year-long initiative we have seen students be more confident in their choices and understand their options. Even if they don’t plan to attend Mid-State, students have the option to take courses through Mid-State that transfer to their planned university.” 

Mid-State’s removal of barriers doesn’t stop at admissions. Mid-State will work with high school seniors to simplify the transition to college. Each month will have a new focus, including career planning, campus tours, scholarship and financial aid assistance, program shadows and more.

“We understand the challenges families face when trying to navigate the path to post-secondary education,” said Ron Rasmussen, principal of Lincoln High School in Wisconsin Rapids. “Our long-standing partnerships with Mid-State have already made it significantly easier for numerous LHS students to access higher education.” 

“Now, with our new Direct Admission partnership, we are poised to provide students with seamless access to higher education opportunities right in their own backyard,” added Rasmussen. “Currently, an average of 30 percent of LHS graduates have chosen to enroll at Mid-State within just three years of their graduation, showcasing the tremendous impact of our collaborative efforts.”

This year’s Direct Admission initiative starts this month with seniors being mailed an admission packet with their acceptance letter. The initiative will end with an Admit Day celebration on Friday, May 3, on the Wisconsin Rapids Campus. Students and their parents will be invited to celebrate becoming part of the Mid-State community. 

Learn more about Direct Admission at