About HERA

The Higher Education Regional Alliance (HERA) is a collaborative of 17 Southeastern Wisconsin public and private, two- and four-year colleges and universities and a network of partner organizations. We are dedicated to closing achievement gaps and educating students today to become an innovative and nimble workforce that meets the needs of the region’s industries tomorrow.

This challenge is too large for any one university or college to solve alone, so we are working together. We know that education impacts more than individual lives; it can change the trajectory of our entire region. 

Our Story

Launched in 2019, HERA brings together higher education institutions with industry and community partners to address our region’s most pressing student and workforce needs.

HERA institutions serve approximately 125,000 students and award approximately 24,000 degrees and certifications each year. This makes HERA institutions the primary developers of talented young employees for our region’s 50,000+ businesses.

HERA is organized around three primary goals:

  • Increasing college completion and closing achievement gaps
  • Aligning program offerings to meet workforce gaps
  • Expanding talent bridges for employers

Who HERA Serves

Wolworth, Waukesha, Washington, Ozaukee, Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha county, the M7 Region
Regions of the state of Wisconsin

“Through HERA, the full system of higher education in southeastern Wisconsin is evolving ever more rapidly to serve over 125,000 students and nearly 50,000 businesses in our region. From increasing access to postsecondary education to increasing credential and degree completion, from aligning program offerings to meet workforce gaps to streamlining the processes of matching our region’s talent with our region’s opportunities, HERA supports the prosperity of our area’s people and institutions.”

— Vicki Martin, HERA Chair, President of Milwaukee Area Technical College


Alverno College
Bryant & Stratton College
Carroll University
Carthage College
Concordia University
Gateway Technical College
Herzing University
Marquette University
Milwaukee Area Technical College
Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design
Mount Mary University
MSOE University
UW Milwaukee
UW Parkside
UW Whitewater
Waukesha County Technical College
Wisconsin Lutheran College


Milwaukee Urban League
Innovation Outpost
Higher Expectations
Hispanic Professionals of Greater Milwaukee
Milwaukee 7
The Greater
Milwaukee Committee
Wisconsin Economic Development
Employ Milwaukee