Great Lakes Commits $1 Million to Student Success at Four Minnesota State Colleges and Universities

Posted: August 4, 2014

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

ST. PAUL, Minn., August 4, 2014 – Four Minnesota State Colleges and Universities have been awarded a total of $988,408 by the Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation to improve graduation rates for students of modest financial means, students of color, and students who are first in their families to attend college.

“Our state colleges and universities are a place of hope and opportunity for all Minnesotans,” said Steven Rosenstone, MnSCU chancellor. “We share Great Lakes’ commitment to increasing college completion among students facing the greatest challenges. The College Ready and College Success grants will make an enormous difference in our ability to help students succeed.”

“We are called to action by the mounting evidence that too many students enroll in college underprepared academically, and too many leave before earning the degree, diploma, or certificate they set out to earn,” said Richard D. George, president and chief executive officer of Great Lakes. “We fund programs that understand the root cause of what holds students back and take bold steps to overcome these obstacles.”

Grants awarded to MnSCU colleges and universities include:

Century College:

  • On-Ramp to College: Reading! will serve 60 high school juniors, placing them on the path to college success through direct services and supports to enhance reading skills and foster the transition to college. $137,963.

Minneapolis Community and Technical College:

  • Early Warning Navigator Program will provide early and more individualized intervention for Pell-eligible, first-year students grappling with academic performance or attendance issues. Faculty and staff will work together to assess and address students’ needs in math, English, and introductory business classes. $179,962.

Saint Paul College:

  • College Within Reach instructs and mentors 75 traditionally underrepresented twelfth grade students, preparing them to succeed in college, particularly mathematics. $86,200.
  • Continuation of afterschool academic intervention for 75 tenth and eleventh grade students from three St. Paul-area schools. $178,773.

St. Cloud State University:

  • Provides eleventh and twelfth grade students at St. Cloud high schools with advising, course scheduling, and academic support through extra math lab sessions, tutoring and math software to diagnose individual student needs, and provide individualized instruction. $205,510.
  • Expands St. Cloud State’s Multicultural Student Services’ (MSS) survey assessment tool to reach students who need assistance, provide them with face-to-face academic support services early, connect them to available resources, and continue assessment and staff training throughout the academic year. $200,000.

Dramatically increasing the success of all learners, especially those from diverse populations traditionally underserved by higher education, is the first recommendation in Charting the Future, a strategic effort led by MnSCU campus faculty, staff, and students. The purpose of the initiative is to help Minnesota realize a prosperous future by ensuring access to an extraordinary education for all Minnesotans; meeting Minnesota’s workforce and community needs; and delivering to students, employers, communities and taxpayers the highest value, most affordable higher education option.

Knowing that education has the power to change lives for the better, Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates helps millions of students pay for college and repay their student loans. Through Community Investments, Great Lakes leads initiatives and funds programs that help students from traditionally underserved backgrounds start and complete a two- or four-year degree or other credential. Since 2006, Great Lakes has committed in excess of $100 million in funding to programs that share these goals. For additional information, visit

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities include 24 two-year community, technical, and comprehensive colleges and seven state universities serving more than 430,000 students. It is the fifth-largest higher education system of its kind in the United States.