Celebrating Academic Success
The Academic Success Center at Minneapolis College is well known on campus for its commitment to providing a safe and comfortable learning environment that fosters respect. The center is committed to helping students learn more effectively and independently. At the center, we believe every student can succeed.
When classes shifted to an online format last year, our staff and peer tutors collaborated with students, faculty members, and departments to transition our services to the online educational environment. We employed a variety of technological resources, so we could provide virtual tutoring services in a range of subjects including writing, math, logic, biology, nursing and chemistry.
I understand it takes a great deal of courage for many students to ask for help. The Academic Success Center provides a safe space for students to connect on a peer-to-peer level. Students obtain mentoring and coaching to overcome academic challenges.
The Academic Success Center has 40 peer tutors, 5 volunteer tutors, and 4 staff tutors offering more than 1,340 hours of academic support to students. Special recognition is given for the superior professionalism, exceptional communication, versatility, empathy and reliability of our staff.
I am proud of the work of our students and staff. Without the hard work and dedication of the tutors, volunteers, and staff, the Academic Success Center wouldn’t be possible.
Director of Academic Success Center
Previous College Updates
Happy New Year!
I'm excited to join you in supporting the Minneapolis College. As the newest member of the Institutional Advancement team, serving in the role of Alumni and Constituent Relations Specialist, my hope is to expand our alumni and friends network and engage you in volunteer programs and opportunities that will build affinity for and engagement with the college.
I'm energized by the strategic direction of the college and it's commitment to the community. This new year brings opportunities for unique and meaningful ways to support students, leverage philanthropy and build a more equitable and inclusive community. Later this month, we will celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the official launch of our Bridging the Equity Gap Initiative.
Minneapolis College will continue to be an integral partner in the transformative power of education, creating pathways for underrepresented individuals to better themselves, their families and our community.
To successfully impact change, we need to call on everyone in our Minneapolis College community. I encourage you to connect using our survey form and consider how to engage or share your story. Please visit the Alumni and Friends webpage to see how you can support our college's mission to provide accessible and transformative educational opportunities in a diverse environment unlike any other in the area.
I look forward to connecting and working with you.
Alumni & Constituent Relations Specialist
Dear Donors and Partners:
As the fall semester is coming to an end, we appreciate your continued support of students during this challenging year.
Minneapolis College values the work of organizations that make assess to a college education possible, especially for students who are traditionally underserved and underrepresented.
We value the relationships that support collaborative student support and help ensure students progress on their higher education journeys. In addition to support systems and resources offered to all students, Minneapolis College is committed to our external partnerships that support students through graduation and beyond.
As you think about the opportunity to continue supporting students on their journey, consider engaging as a student success partner.
To join this student support collaborative, complete the Student Success Partner form. To learn more about how to partner with Minneapolis College, please contact me.
Heidi T. Aldes
Dean of Enrollment Management
Dear Donors and Partners:
We are grateful for the support you have provided our students. We appreciate your thoughtfulness and sponsorship of students utilizing the Minneapolis College Student Support Center. Your generosity and relationships have removed many barriers to allow our students to succeed academically. Your kindness improves the quality of life for our students and community.
The Student Support Center can provide many services to students. These services include but are not limited to counseling, resource and referral services, the student parent center, and helping resolve financial emergencies.
College can be a time of new beginnings and excitement as well as a time of transition, uncertainty, and change for students. Students experiencing difficulties in life and/or academics, can meet with a counselor where they can discuss issues of concern as well as personal and academic goals. Counseling services are free and confidential. Counselors offer crisis, individual, and group counseling. A free on-line mental health screening is also available to students. Counselors also offer monthly programming for students based on coping strategies, adaption, self-care and boundaries.
Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities (OSRR)
This office manages all student complaint and student conduct matters through systematic processes to ensure that students receive due process. The OSRR also has oversight for the Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT). BIT consists of college managers and administrators that receive reports of concern for students. The Team offers outreach for students exhibiting concerning behavior. Finally, the OSRR offers a mediation program, R.O.O.T. Resolving Our Own Troubles.
Resource and Referral Center (R & R)
The Resource and Referral Center connects our currently enrolled students with supportive community networks, resources and opportunities to ease obstacles interfering with their success. Through referrals, direct service and outside agency coordination, our students gain access, information and support to address specific needs and gain self-sufficiency. We connect students to community and government agencies, healthcare providers and other partner organizations to address their immediate and/or long-term needs and goals. Students gain enhanced knowledge of navigating the systems on and off campus, expanding their network of support.
The center currently is collocated with Hennepin County Services. A case manager from the county provides weekly drop-in services for students. The Center hosts community resource fairs and workshops throughout the year to explore, expand and strengthen ties to the community and provide important resources for students. The center has a well-established food pantry that serves students and their families.
Students are also provided free snack packs or lunches. Students can apply for free emergency aid to assist them in unforeseen circumstances. The center hosts annual school supply, winter weather gear, Thanksgiving meals, and Toys for Tots drives.
Students can receive the following referral and services:
- Emergency Shelter
- Supportive/Transitional Housing Resources
- Ex-offender/re-entry resources
- Child Care Resources
- Parenting Support
- Low/Reduced or Free Health Care
- Chemical/Mental Health Program Referrals
- County/State Benefits
- Free Legal Aid
- Transportation Assistance.
Student Parent Center (SPC)
The SPC is a comfortable place where student parents/guardians can study, use computers, attend our Student Parent Group meetings and other events or simply relax, while on campus. Any student parent/guardian of minor children, who follows the SPC expectations and rules, may use the SPC. Students may be accompanied by their children while using the Center or utilize the space on their own.
We provide child friendly activities and toys as well as snacks. The Center is not a daycare or drop-in site and children must always be accompanied by a parent or guardian. A lactation room and refrigerator along with lockers are available for student mothers.
In 2019 Minneapolis College participated in the #Real College Survey sponsored by the Hope Center. We learned the following overall basic needs insecurity rates for our students:
- 45% of respondents experienced food insecurity in the prior 30 days
- 60% of respondents experienced housing insecurity in the previous year
- 27% of respondents experienced homelessness in the previous year
- 69% of students at Minneapolis Community and Technical College experienced at least one of these forms of basic needs insecurity in the past year.
Your support has greatly impacted our students, their families and ultimately our community. The Student Support Center currently serves about 10% of the Minneapolis College student population. The collaboration with our many community partners has permitted us to provide a convenient one-stop shop of resources for our students.
Through partnerships with faith-based organizations, St. Marks, the Basilica of St. Mary’s and First Unitarian Church, we were able to provide free bag lunches to students twice a week. Our partnership with the local food shelf, Groveland, enables us to create an on-campus food pantry, which students can access once a week.
Also, our collocation with Hennepin County and strong partnerships with community agencies including Community Action Partnership of Hennepin County, Familywise, Inc., and Legal Aid has allowed us to offer on-campus services ranging from food support, housing case management, legal services, parenting education, and more. These services do not pause during the winter and summer school breaks. We found that our most vulnerable students have the highest needs during this time; therefore, we continue to provide our services year-round.
We rely on grants and donations to provide student resources and support. Currently our student Outreach Coordinator is a part time position funded through grant and student life dollars. We need to provide better student service when it comes to housing. We have a need and desire to gain a student housing coordinator.
This coordinator will help current students in the housing market. They would work with students and community members to develop connections and advocate for the housing needs of students. In addition, they would work with property managers and landlords to create greater access to housing for students.
We invite you to be a partner in joining Minneapolis College in our efforts to raise funding to support our students with food, housing and other emergency needs. Please consider participating in Give to the Max Day. Your contributions can provide opportunities and aid students in reaching their academic dreams and goals.
Dean of Students
Dear Friends and Neighbors:
These warm, colorful days of October remind me of the old adage, "for everything there is a season". For many, moving into the abundance of Autumn is a time for renewed optimism, gratitude, and giving back. It is in this spirit that I write to thank you for your ongoing support of Minneapolis College. During this time of great change, it is essential to have a supportive and generous friend like you.
2020 is presenting all of us with new challenges. At the same time, it is offering us unique and meaningful ways to leverage philanthropy to build a more equitable and inclusive community.
The CARES Act allows taxpayers who previously could not deduct their charitable contributions, because they took the standard deduction, to deduct up to $300 of qualified charitable contributions on their 2020 tax return. For people who file with itemized deductions, you may take a tax deduction of up to 100% of your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) for contributions to qualifying charities starting in 2020. The new law temporarily lifts the limits on charitable giving from 60% of a taxpayer’s AGI to 100% for 2020.
The adjusted gross income (AGI) limit for qualified cash contributions was increased for individual donors. For qualified cash contributions made in 2020, you can now elect to deduct up to 100 percent of your AGI (increased from 60 percent). The AGI limit for cash contributions was also increased for corporate donors. Corporations can now deduct up to 25 percent of taxable income (increased from 10 percent).
Qualified contributions are cash gifts made in 2020 in which an election is made and is not made to a donor advised fund (DAF), private foundation, or supporting organization. The CARES Act also allows for an additional, “above-the-line” deduction for charitable gifts made in cash of up to $300. If you are not itemizing on your 2020 taxes, you can still claim this new deduction. All of these enhancements to 2020 charitable deductions make it a great year to support your philanthropic endeavors!
Minneapolis College is integral to building an equitable and vibrant Minnesota. The transformative power of education creates pathways for underrepresented individuals to better themselves, their families, and our community. In July of this year, the College introduced Breakthrough 2020 - Bridging the Equity Gap, a new program to educate and cultivate future leaders. We expanded our efforts to help students fund emergency expenses that might otherwise require them to drop out of school. The Power of You is another long-standing College program making college possible for many in our community.
These programs and more are supported by the generosity of donors. I invite you to join us this month as year-end giving gets underway with an event on October 29th. Students, faculty, staff, and donors will have the opportunity to connect and share their stories with each other. Visit the Alumni & Friends Events webpage to register.
Immediately following this event, we will kick off our Give to the Max fall fundraising activities on November 1st. These activities will continue through Thursday, November 19th. This year we will raise money for our Student Support Center. Connect with us online. Follow us on social media. Invite your friends to join in supporting Minneapolis College students.
Please contact me for more information about the strategic priorities of the College or to learn about other ways you can leverage the CARES Act to amplify your giving and support our students and their dreams. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 612.659.6820.
Director, Institutional Advancement,
Dear Friends and Neighbors:
Minneapolis College Foundation takes the protection and proper use of your information seriously. We are writing to make you aware that a third-party vendor we contract with experienced a security breach. Blackbaud, which hosts our Minneapolis College Foundation donor database, the largest cloud software company in the world serving nonprofits, discovered and stopped a ransomware attack.
This incident did not result in access to your credit card information, bank account information, or social security numbers. Blackbaud has shared that they have no reason to believe that any data went beyond the cybercriminal, or that it was or will be misused, or will be disseminated or otherwise made available publicly.
After discovering the attack, Blackbaud’s Cyber Security team—together with independent forensics experts and law enforcement— successfully stopped and expelled the cybercriminal from their system. Some user contact information may have been exposed, including physical addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers. The incident may have also exposed information pertaining to your relationship with Minneapolis College Foundation such as giving history.
Based on third-party investigations by security researchers and law enforcement, we have no reason to believe this information has been misused, disseminated, or otherwise made available publicly. Nevertheless, we recommend you remain vigilant and promptly report any suspicious activity or suspected identity theft to us and to the proper law enforcement authorities.
To reiterate, no credit card payment information was compromised as a result of this incident. A more detailed description of the security incident, and the steps that Blackbaud is taking to prevent its recurrence, can be found at https://www.blackbaud.com/securityincident.
We sincerely apologize for this incident and deeply regret any inconvenience it may cause you. Should you have any further questions or concerns regarding this matter and/or the protections available to you, please do not hesitate to contact the Minneapolis College Foundation at 612.659.6820.
Director, Institutional Advancement,
Board President, Minneapolis College Foundation
Letter from President Pierce to Advancement Foundation
August 17, 2020
Dear Friends and Neighbors:
All of us at Minneapolis College hope you and your family are healthy and hope you’ve able to find moments of peace during this unusual and difficult time.
As we begin a new academic year, we are welcoming students to participate in courses and other activities in a new manner, mostly online. Our staff and faculty have spent the summer preparing to help our students adapt and thrive as we continue to deliver high-quality academics at an affordable price.
Despite the challenges 2020 has presented us with, the Minneapolis College team has reinvented processes and transitioned to many new ways of operating.
The following highlights recap this work:
- 500-plus employees moved to remote work
- 800-plus course sections moved to alternate delivery with approximately two-thirds of course sections being offered entirely online and more being offered using a blend of online and face-to-face classes
- Despite the rapid change in instruction modalities student success was unchanged Spring semester 2020 to Spring semester 2019
- Our Spring semester nursing cohort had a licensure pass rate of 94 percent, one of the highest in the state
- Our School of Liberal Arts and Cultures developed one of Minnesota State’s first zero-textbook cost Associate of Arts programs
- Minneapolis.edu has become our new ‘front door’ with fresh videos and a new, more engaging presence as students now see this as their primary portal to campus
- 200 scholarships were awarded totaling nearly $500,000
- New options were created allowing donors to select specific initiatives to support including the Breakthrough 2020–Bridging the Equity Gap Program, the President’s Excellence Fund and a Career Ready Mentorship Program
- We reaffirmed our role as an anchor in the community and in positively impacting socio-economic gaps with our Equity Statement
- Minneapolis College received the Inclusion Cultivates Excellence Award from the College and University Professional Association for Its Competency-Based Hiring Program
- We launched a new Digital Learning Program to provide students with affordable laptop leasing and reliable technical support along with a fund for donors to help support this important need
- Minneapolis College received and distributed $2.3 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to eligible students
For additional information about how we have planned a safe, gradual and limited return to campus, visit minneapolis.edu. This coming year, we will work collaboratively to create our next five-year strategic plan, and together we will build on our pledge to becoming an antiracist institution, understanding that it is a journey, not a destination. We will also demonstrate our excellence to the Higher Learning Commission through our Assurance Argument.
As an anchor institution in Minneapolis, our work is grounded in the success of our students and our renewed commitment to equity and inclusion. Together, we are changing the world, by supporting our community’s most vulnerable population in striving for higher credentials, better employment and to have a voice in the broader conversations that will create a better tomorrow for those who come after us.
Thank you for your support of our mission and our role in the community.
Sharon J. Pierce, Ed.D.