Happy New Year!
I hope you had a restful holiday season and are looking forward to 2022 as much as I am. As we begin our new semester, I would like to reflect on some recent accomplishments.
In December we completed training for 40 members of the National Guard, who now become Certified Nursing Assistants. This effort, a collaboration between Continuing Education and Workforce Development and the School of Nursing, helps meet a critical workforce need for Minnesota.
Last year, our campus community demonstrated exceptional support for students. We saw a 60% increase in the use of our food pantry, and our range of services expanded to meet student needs—a diaper drive, housing fair, Thanksgiving meal basket collection, school supply drive, Toys for Tots and winter clothing drive were all hosted on our campus.
We offered emergency funding to students as part of the Higher Education Emergency Relief III. This funding helped students impacted by the pandemic. More than 1 million dollars in emergency funding went to students during fall semester. We plan to support more students with American Rescue Plan funds in spring 2022.
I recognize the many challenges this past year presented to us. We continue to encounter uncertainties and economic fallout from COVID-19 restrictions. Renewed movements for social justice reflect our society’s shortcomings, while calling each of us to be present for one another as we strive to promote equity and inclusion.
I am optimistic that Minneapolis College will hold hybrid Commencement celebrations in May 2022. While this may not represent a complete return to in-person graduation events, we are determined to honor our students and recognize their achievements.
Whatever we face in the year ahead, I know we are up to the challenge. I look forward to all that we will accomplish together.
President Sharon Pierce