Healthcare Career Pathways in Southern Wisconsin through the Regional Industry Skills Education Grant (RISE)


RISE is a joint initiative of the Wisconsin Technical College System and the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, and funded in part through a “Shifting Gears” grant from the Joyce Foundation.  RISE draws on local, state and national expertise to make "career pathways" a central part of Wisconsin's education and job training systems. Also, it engages the business community at both the state and regional levels to address the skill needs of major industry sectors.  For complete information on the RISE initiative visit the RISE partnership homepage.


Health Care was the selected industry sector for career pathway development in the Southwest Wisconsin region, as it is an important industry to this economy, fraught with opportunities to develop accessible career pathways for low skilled, low wage working adults. 

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*Pathways outlined in green require curriculum development

The Southwest Wisconsin Workforce Development Board along with UW-Rock County and Blackhawk Technical College (BTC) were co-leaders in this RISE health care pathways effort. The three co-leads involved all made significant contributions toward the conduction and collection of industry related research, identification of key industry / business partners and drafting and development of pathways curriculum. The specific focus of our team’s work was the creation of a direct Licensed Practicing Nurse (LPN) degree; however our work and research led to the identification and development of other health care career pathways.


Additional career pathways as identified by the collaborative RISE team, all had an entry point of Nursing Assistant (NA). Many of the pathways are (or may become) available locally via a bridge model, or may be coupled with different programs which affords working individuals the ability to gain highly marketable skills at incremental levels, thus providing a predictable progression in employee compensation and/or benefits and advancement.  Specifically, the RISE grant enabled the Workforce Development Board to partner with BTC for the development of a Medical Interpreter pathway, Diagnostic Aide pathway, Restorative Aide pathway and LPN pathway. Implementation of this programming is not completed and may be a component of upcoming sector strategy efforts.  Also of note, the RISE grant aided in the development of the transfer option from BTC’s ADN program to UW-Oshkosh’s BSN program (conducted on the UW-Rock County campus).


The additional pathways identified are included in the diagram below.  * Please note: tiers on the diagram are not necessarily equivalent programs or degrees, rather a visual depiction of potential pathways.


For additional information on the health care career pathways identified, please click on the specific pathway above.