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How do higher education funding models impact access and attainability for POCI students?

At MnEEP, our Big Bold Goal 5 is centered on improving access and equity in higher education to support students of color for personal and financial success. To that end, we are developing new partnerships and efforts to increase college access and equity for Persons of Color and Indigenous (POCI) students and models that support their success in completing a college credential.

Working collaboratively in partnership with leaders in higher education is a critical component for finding new ways to end racial disparities in higher education and grow Minnesota’s quality of life for all people. Each of our communities, and especially our Communities of Color and Indigenous Communities, must have more equitable access to obtaining the advanced knowledge and skills linked to the attainment of college credentials.

Recently, MnEEP was awarded a grant from the Joyce Foundation, a nonpartisan, private charitable foundation based in Chicago, Illinois, to fund a project that will explore how financing schools and student aid impacts opportunities and success of POCI students in attaining a college credential.

Higher education funding and the policies and practices around it must be examined and re-imagined with a renewed focus on race equity if we are to close racially-based disparities in access to and completion of higher education. The future of our state’s economy is, in large part, depending on this important work happening now and into the future.

The Joyce Foundation Grant (JFG) Project will allow MnEEP to outline how financing schools and student aid can better support students to enroll in quality higher educational opportunities and to achieve greater success in completing a college credential. In addition, this project will help to drive policy changes at the state and national levels to close gaps in higher education and bring about more race equity in our systems of higher education.

MnEEP is partnering with leaders from PreK-12 and higher education through the Research Collaborative Table (RCT), a group of researchers and practitioners who meet monthly, as well as national advisors, to guide the JFG Project.

Establishing a Project Management Team and identifying key researchers to lead the quantitative and qualitative aspects of the project have been initial steps that will, in the coming days, weeks, and months, evolve into a comprehensive research study and analysis of the interplay of policies and practices shaped by higher education finance models and the effect they have on the outcomes of POCI students.

We are excited about this opportunity and encourage you to learn more about all of our Big Bold Goals.

We can, and must, do better for our students and Communities of Color and Indigenous Communities by increasing race equity in our statewide systems of higher education, if we are to maintain our state’s prosperity moving forward!

Fun Fact: Did you know that MnEEP’s online platform called the, “2019 Academic Enrichment Guide (AEG),” lists 143 opportunity programs from across the state?  The AEG provides information to students of color and Indigenous students on how to access academic enrichment programs and opportunities that promote college readiness.

For more information download the 2019 Academic Enrichment Guide.

Leiataua Dr. Jon Peterson
Jon Peterson

Leiataua Dr. Jon Peterson is a Native and Indigenous educator who is working with MnEEP as a consultant to provide ongoing coordination, support, and leadership to the EML Network and the Joyce Foundation Grant Project.

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