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Otto Bremer Foundation Grant

MINNEAPOLIS (October 22, 2012)—Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC) and Saint Paul College were recently awarded a $300,000 grant by the Otto Bremer Foundation.

The grant includes $200,000 to be shared by MCTC and Saint Paul College to expand the Power of YOU, a successful program which provides tuition-free and intensive academic support to low-income students in Minneapolis, Saint Paul and first-tier suburbs; and $100,000 for MCTC’s Academic Pathways project to provide students with academic pathways in college, from the first course through graduation.

Since 2006, the Power of YOU has served more than 2,500 students and has had four key goals:

  • Eliminate the real or perceived barriers to enrolling in college
  • Increase enrollment of low-income students and students of color
  • Increase graduation rates for low-income students and students of color
  • Narrow the achievement gap for students of color and low income students

The goals of the Power of YOU are being achieved. One-third of all Minneapolis Public Schools’ graduates that enroll in a Minnesota higher education institution now enroll at MCTC, more than double the rate of six years ago. Graduation rates have shown impressive improvement in Minneapolis and Saint Paul, and according to Asmussen Research, the Power of YOU has increased the odds of graduating from college by 67 percent. Since 2006, over 90 percent of students in the Power of YOU program have been from low-income families and over 75 percent have been students of color.

“The Power of YOU program not only ensures access to an extraordinary education for students who might never have had the chance to attend college, it also demonstrates the strength our institutions gain by working together,” states Rassoul Dastmozd, president of Saint Paul College.

The goal of the Academic Pathways model is to help streamline pathways for students to succeed in college. Using a research-based approach, MCTC’s Academic Pathways program includes national best practices and integrates them into a coherent, systematic plan which includes integrated advising, use of technology-based career and advising tools, placement test preparation and web-based graduation tools.

“In these difficult economic times, students need financial support to attend college, and they need tools to be successful,” said Phil Davis, president of MCTC. “Both the Power of You and MCTC’s Academic Pathways project are helping to close the achievement gap between white students and students of color and ensure that all students can be successful. We are thrilled to have the support of the Otto Bremer Foundation.”

About the Otto Bremer Foundation
Created in 1944, the Otto Bremer Foundation assists people in achieving full economic, civic, and social participation in and for the betterment of their communities. The Foundation’s work to help build and maintain vibrant communities is based on the vision and legacy of Otto Bremer, whose commitment to the Bremer Bank communities and to those working to make their lives better continues to guide the Foundation.

The Otto Bremer Foundation owns a majority share of Bremer Bank, and a portion of the bank’s profits comes to the Foundation as dividends, enabling the Foundation to invest back in the bank communities in the form of grants and program-related investments. In 2011, the Foundation provided approximately $30 million in grants and program-related investments. Visit ottobremer.org for more information about the Foundation and its programs.

About Minneapolis Community and Technical College
MCTC is a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System. MCTC offers students more than 130 liberal arts, career and technical education academic programs and a comprehensive array of non-credit programs
to prepare students for good jobs in high-demand professions, career advancement, or transfer to four-year colleges and universities. Located in the heart of downtown Minneapolis, MCTC enrolls more than 14,000 students annually and is an active partner in initiatives designed to strengthen the social, economic and cultural vitality of the Twin Cities metropolitan area.

About Saint Paul College
Saint Paul College–A Community & Technical College, was ranked the #1 community college in the nation by Washington Monthly, for student engagement in active and collaborative learning, student-faculty interaction, and support for learning. Saint Paul College is a two-year comprehensive, community and technical college with open access to enrollment.  Offerings include Career and Technical Education, general education areas of study that transfer to four-year colleges and universities, short term workforce training and continuing education, as well as English as a Second language and remedial education. Saint Paul College is located in downtown Saint Paul, and serves more than 9,800 students annually.