Seven colleges and universities within the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system are being honored for outstanding achievements in diversity.
The colleges and universities that were honored are Anoka-Ramsey Community College, Bemidji State University, Century College, North Hennepin Community College, Metropolitan State University, St. Cloud State University and Winona State University.
“We celebrate the creative and committed individuals who have demonstrated outstanding diversity work in serving our students,” said Board of Trustees Chair Scott Thiss. “By standing for excellence, they help fulfill the board’s vision for the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, which is to enable the people of Minnesota to succeed by providing the most accessible, highest value education in the nation.”
The awards acknowledge programs and services that support access and success in higher education for all Minnesotans, especially those from groups traditionally underrepresented in higher education, such as students of color, low-income students or students who are the first in their families to attend college. The winners were selected by a panel of academic and student affairs administrators from various campuses after being nominated by presidents and other college and university leaders for work in 2010-2011. The Diversity and Multiculturalism awards were presented May 25 at Inver Hills Community College.
“Many of the students served by the award-winning programs and activities did not start their educational quest on a level playing field,” said Whitney Harris, the system’s executive director of diversity and multiculturalism. “Each project helps level the playing field for these students and helps achieve equal opportunity in higher education.”
The categories and winners follow:
The Best Practices in Diversity Award recognizes programs and practices that improve access and retention of diverse campus community members. The winners are St. Cloud State University for its Power in Diversity Leadership Conference, first place; and Bemidji State University for its American Indian Resource Center, second place. Winona State University received honorable mention for its Academic Progress Reporting System.
The Innovative Practices in Diversity Award recognizes practices that foster inclusivity and are two or more years old. The winner is Metropolitan State University for its Community Garden, with Anoka-Ramsey Community College placing second with the Mosaic Center. North Hennepin Community College received honorable mention for its Multicultural Education trainings.
The Outstanding Student Organization Diversity Award recognizes student-led groups, staff, faculty or administrators’ initiatives that foster diversity and inclusion within the campus and larger community. The winner is Century College for its Asian Student Organization. The second-place winner is the St. Cloud State University’s Hmong Student Organization. Winona State University’s Black Cultural Awareness Association and Chapter Phi Beta Sigma, Inc., received honorable mention.
The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system comprises 32 state universities and community and technical colleges serving the higher education needs of Minnesota. The system serves about 277,000 students per year in credit-based courses and an additional 157,000 students in noncredit courses.