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Higher Ed Toolkit

Tools & action plans for building a racially just higher ed system

We’re collaborating across colleges and higher-ed institutions to build and share best practices and advocacy for a higher-ed system that honors the unique voices, goals, talents, and needs of Minnesota’s POCI students.

We hope you’ll join us in using this toolkit to build a stronger, more just Minnesota for all people.

In this Toolkit


What does racial equity in higher education look like?

Race equity is a path from hope to justice— where People of Color and Indigenous people (POCI) use their personal agency to build systems of healing and liberation that uplift and value the human dignity of all people.

Race equity in higher education means the humanity of POCI students is honored and celebrated in all education spaces, and the racial predictability and disproportionality of student achievement is eliminated.

What colleges and universities must do right now

Aligning race equity commitments across Minnesota institutions

Building a more just higher ed system in Minnesota is a moral and economic imperative.

The Minnesota Legislature has a target goal to increase the percentage of Minnesotans age 25 to 44 who have attained a postsecondary certificate or degree to 70 percent by 2025.

To get close to there, it’s critical higher ed institutions commit to undoing systemic barriers and design education spaces that increase college access, retention, and completion for POCI students.

Sign the Race Equity Compact

Minnesotans like you are making a commitment to transform our higher-ed institutions to be racially just, culturally responsive, and accessible for students of color and American Indian students so we can build a Minnesota that works for everyone.

Commit now
graphic illustration of a diverse group talking about education equity planning

Building best practices together

The College Race Equity Advocacy Advisory Council is a state-wide multiracial group of researchers, policy makers, and higher-ed leaders and faculty collaborating to direct, lead, and build new polices and best practices to advance race equity in higher ed.

Let’s collaborate

Four ways Minnesota must take action now

Transforming systems

Minnesota’s higher ed system wasn’t design for POCI students.  Minnesota policymakers must use a race equity lens to analyze, shape, and inform all current and new higher ed policies and ensure they center positive outcomes for POCI students and communities.

MnEEP’s research shows Minnesota must advance equity-centered policies and practices in four key areas right now to build higher-ed spaces that honor and support POCI students in their higher-ed journey.

Financial aid reform

Minnesota’s financial-aid policies are outdated, and fail to address the unique needs of Minnesota students of color and American Indian students. By using a race equity lens to shift higher education financial aid policies, we can produce greater racial equity in college completion and degree attainment that will lead to greater prosperity for POCI students and Minnesota.

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Anti-racist practices

Anti-racism is the active process of identifying and dismantling racist attitudes, systems, structures, policies, & practices to advance a more racially just future where the humanity of everyone is valued and uplifted. Minnesota’s colleges must do the work to build anti-racist policies and practices in every area—from leadership positions to public narratives.

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Holistic student supports

Holistic student supports meet students where they are—they uplift and leverage their unique talents, strengths, experiences, and abilities—and provide them with the best pathways to achieve their personal and financial goals. In Minnesota, that means redesigning the student experience at all levels to support low-income working students, first-generation students, and students of color.

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Developmental education reform

Developmental education is incredibly costly to students, and costly to their success in college completion. Minnesota must reassess its developmental ed requirements by revising policies and testing for determining developmental ed placement, and reinvesting in evidence-informed models that increase college access, retention, and degree attainment for POCI students.

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News & Updates

Free college: A win for racial equity in Minnesota

Minnesota Education Equity Partnership (MnEEP) applauds the historic efforts of the Minnesota House, Senate, the Higher Education Finance and Policy Committee, and the Higher Education committee for advancing tuition-free college for families making $80k or less.

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Minnesota removes limitation for developmental ed students

Thanks to the research and insights of MnEEP’s CREAAC Chairs and Members and so many higher-ed partners, the Minnesota State Legislature voted to ensure the State Grant will cover costs of developmental education courses without counting towards a student’s grant term limits.

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Minnesota must address the racial inequities of student debt

Ensuring critical student consumer protections while working to demystify student debt is essential if Minnesota wants to ensure racial equity in college access and reduce the disproportionate debt POCI students face.

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