Augsburg welcomes most diverse class in its history

Class of 2020 is 45 percent persons of color

EquityProclamation(MINNEAPOLIS) — Augsburg College at 10:15 a.m., today, welcomes it’s most diverse, first-year undergraduate class — with more than 45 percent persons of color. At the same time, the College is announcing its initial equity framework to remove the social, institutional and individual barriers that contribute to inequity.

This important work garnered support from the St. Paul Foundationa grant of $10,000 and the opportunity for additional funding as the framework takes shape.

“Working to foster diversity and inclusivity has been a cornerstone of the Augsburg promise for many years and is an important extension of our commitment to social justice and equity,” said Augsburg College President Paul Pribbenow.

“We are honored to have the support of the St. Paul Foundation which places high importance on racial equity work. We know, as a democracy college, that Minnesota is strengthened by the diversity of its people and that educating persons of diverse backgrounds who learn at the intersection of differences is what best prepares young people to become engaged citizens and educated problem solvers.”

Since 2006, Augsburg has more than tripled the percentage of persons of color in the full undergraduate student body, growing from 11 percent in 2006 to 33 percent in 2016.

Through this work, the College has earned a leading reputation for demonstrating a unique way of engaging in the work of higher education. Within the Minnesota Private College Council, the overall enrollment average among schools includes 27 percent first-generation students and 20 percent Pell-eligible students. Augsburg leads the state among private, four-year institutions with nearly 50 percent of students who are first-generation and more than 40 percent of students who are Pell-eligible.

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Pribbenow discusses commitment to higher education achievement equity with U.S. Department of Education

Augsburg College President Paul Pribbenow is the tenth president of the college.WASHINGTON, D.C. — Augsburg College President Paul Pribbenow participated in a high-level meeting with the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C., last week focused on highlighting successful strategies for increasing equity in college access and graduation rates for students eligible for the Federal Pell Grant Program.

One recent strategy deployed by Augsburg, in partnership with Minneapolis Community and Technical College and with Saint Paul College, is the Auggie Plan. The thoughtfully and carefully constructed Auggie Plan, which is customized to the student profile of each partner institution, creates a clear, attainable, predictable, and efficient path from an associate’s degree to a liberal arts degree. The Auggie Plan is slated to be in five community and technical colleges by 2017.

“As a college located in one of the most diverse ZIP codes in the region and with a traditional undergraduate population comprised of 40 percent Pell-eligible students, Augsburg is deeply familiar with the work that a commitment to inclusion entails,” Pribbenow said. “We also know how rewarding it is when we get it right — which, admittedly, is not every time and not as often as we’d like. But the fact that there is still work to be done in no way deters our commitment.

“At Augsburg, we do this work because it is both right and necessary. It’s right and necessary for students — enriching our learning community with questions and ideas from a vast array of bright minds. It is right and necessary for businesses and nonprofits — marshaling the talents and perspectives of all our people to address our region’s most pressing needs and opportunities. It is right and necessary for Minnesota as a state that offers a lifestyle we cherish and wish to sustain. “

U.S. President Barack Obama, since the beginning of his administration, has worked to ensure more U.S. residents have the opportunity to earn a quality, affordable higher education.

“For us to thrive as a diverse democracy and for individuals to achieve their dreams of success, higher education must fulfill its promise of providing opportunity to all students, regardless of their race, gender, or income level,” said U.S. Under Secretary of Education Ted Mitchell.

“That opportunity means access, but getting into college is not enough. It’s getting in and getting through that matters. There are remarkable institutions around the country succeeding at making access and success a reality for low income students. We need to learn from their leadership and spread the word about practices that work.