The Division of Equity and Inclusion at Minneapolis College announced the placement of permanent staffing dedicated to helping bridge the city’s educational opportunity gap.
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 College’s Equity and Inclusion Division staff oversees programming and support for specific identity groups including the American Indian Success Program, African American Education Empowerment Program and Latinos Unidos for College and Higher Achievement.
Aside from Williams, the division includes Nanette Missaghi, director of Equity and Inclusion, Randy Gresczyk, American Indian success coordinator and Charles Watson, African American Empowerment Coordinator.
A search is underway for a recruiter and empowerment coordinator to connect the college to the local Hispanic community. The 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.
According to 2018 enrollment data, the majority of Minneapolis College students continue to be underrepresented. College officials say 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.”