Equity & Inclusion Division Poised to Help Bridge Opportunity Gap

students in a discussion outdoors
10/31/18

Minneapolis College is announcing help for the city of Minneapolis to close the educational opportunity gap. The Division of Equity & Inclusion has hired permanent staffing dedicated to close that gap by supporting successful academic pathways for students.

According to Chief Diversity Officer, Dr. Jay Williams, “The phrase ‘All are welcome here’ is more than just a clever phrase on a sign around campus; it’s a way to capture the work of our highly-credentialed and connected staff who are positioned to move the needle on creating opportunities for underrepresented students to excel.”

The Work of 80

The College’s Equity and Inclusion Division accomplishes its work through a highly active committee that coordinates the work of approximately 80 people across campus to plan and implement its initiatives.

The division’s staff oversees programming and support for specific identity groups including:

  • American Indian Success Program (AISP)
  • African American Education Empowerment Program (AME)
  • Latinos Unidos for College and Higher Achievement (LUCHA).

Current Members

Aside from Williams, the division include the following staff members:

More Staff

  • A search is underway for a Recruiter and Empowerment Coordinator to connect the College to the local Hispanic community
  • The Equity and Inclusion Division also has a dedicated administrative support person
  • The College’s Professional Development Coordinator also dedicates a significant portion of time to incorporating equity and inclusion training into employee curriculum.

Recent Data on Minneapolis College Students

According to 2018 enrollment data, the majority of Minneapolis College students continue to be underrepresented: low-income, students of color and/or first-generation students who don't fit the traditional, four-year college student model.

To support students in achieving their higher education goals, Minneapolis College is changing its approach from fitting students to the college's needs to fitting the college to meet students’ needs.

“Our Equity and Inclusion Division is securing a better future for the many students whose lives are being transformed because of their experiences at Minneapolis College,” said President Sharon Pierce. “This work ensures our graduates are prepared for the diverse, global economy as they enter the workforce.”