Star Tribune Editorial Board recognizes Augsburg College’s equity and inclusion work

Minneapolis Star Tribune - logoPresident Paul Pribbenow met with leaders of the Minneapolis Star Tribune editorial board to discuss Minnesota’s educational achievement gap among children and youth of diverse backgrounds. The state has one of the largest achievement gaps in the nation, and Augsburg is working to ensure all students of academic ability have access to higher education. The College’s pledge to this work includes limited debt pathways to graduation, setting aside dedicated housing for homeless students, increasing financial aid literacy, supporting faculty in creating inclusive classrooms, and increasing access to course materials.

The College was applauded for this leadership through a compelling editorial, “Augsburg College leads the call for campus equity,” written and published by the Star Tribune editorial board on Aug. 30.

The editorial explained that Minnesota is rapidly diversifying, but increasing student diversity on college campuses involves more than waiting for more nonwhite Minnesotans to enroll. “As Augsburg College is demonstrating, academic institutions can do much to adapt their own policies and practices to educate what previously has been an underserved share of the state’s population,” the editorial explained.

Augsburg has sought to reduce barriers to college success that often impede students of color, and the College aims to not only to enroll a larger share of nonwhite students, but also to see them through to graduation.

WCCO story showcases Augsburg College’s diverse incoming class

A recent report airing on WCCO radio noted that as students of all ages returned to school this fall, “Augsburg welcomed the class of 2020, with staff greeting students as they walked into the chapel for convocation. However, the class of 2020 had a special distinction – they are the most diverse class the college has seen, with more than 45 percent of them being students of color.”

As Augsburg College President Paul Pribbenow explained, ““For Augsburg, that means that our commitment to diversity, to inclusion and [our] commitment to justice is actually being lived out by the students who come here to be part of our community,”

Read and listen: Augsburg College Welcomes Most Diverse Freshman Class Ever on the WCCO website.

 

 

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.

Continue reading “Augsburg welcomes most diverse class in its history”

Augsburg’s campus is a fit for incoming student Mark Lukitsch

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Links and tunnels help make Augsburg’s campus more accessible.

A recent South Washington County Bulletin article featured incoming Augsburg College student Mark Lukitsch‘s accomplishments and high school experience. The story describes Lukitsch as one of Park High School’s most well-known students. He has congenital muscular dystrophy, which the article said “limits his fine-motor skills but not his ambition.”

Lukitsch was influential in creating positive changes to a local stadium’s wheelchair-accessible seating options, and he chose to continue his education at Augsburg College, in part, because of the urban campus features tunnels, above-ground links, and a wheelchair-friendly layout that make it more accessible. He plans to pursue a communication studies degree and will continue to study alongside Avery, his service dog who can open classroom doors and perform other tasks that allow him to live more independently.

Read “Park High School graduate profile: Mark Lukitsch ready to move forward” on the Bulletin website.

KARE 11 story showcases Augsburg College’s diverse graduating class

kare 11 - logoA recent report airing on KARE 11 television noted that, “Augsburg College is located in the heart of Minneapolis in one of the most diverse zip codes in the city.” And, the College’s graduating class reflects that diversity.

As the story explained, “Under President Paul C. Pribbenow‘s leadership, the college has more than tripled the percentage of minorities in the full undergraduate body. In 2006, there were 11 percent compared to 33 percent in 2016.” The traditional undergraduate graduating class of 2016 is comprised of more than 42 percent students of color — a record achievement for the institution.

Pribbenow said Augsburg has been committed to attracting and supporting students from minority populations for more than a decade and has partnered with college readiness programs to achieve its success.

The broadcast report also included an interview with Robert Harper ’16, an alumnus who described why he values his college experience and the diverse makeup of his graduating class.

Read and watch: Augsburg graduates most diverse class in history on the KARE 11 website.

Commencement Season Kicks Off April 30 at Augsburg

Spring 2016 undergraduate class is the most diverse in College’s history

Students in Spring 2015 process down Seven and a Half Street to Si Melby Hall for Commencement Ceremonies.The Augsburg College community on Saturday, April 30, will celebrate the success of students from its Minneapolis and Rochester campuses, including the traditional undergraduate class that is comprised of more than 42 percent students of color.

In the past 10 years, since Augsburg College President Paul C. Pribbenow has led the institution, the College has more than tripled the percentage of persons of color in the full undergraduate student bodygrowing from 11 percent in 2006 to 33 percent in 2016.

“An Augsburg education is marked by broad and intentional diversity in which students learn at the intersections of academic disciplines, diverse viewpoints, rich faith traditions, socioeconomic backgrounds, gender expressions, military commitments, learning styles and more,” Pribbenow said.

“We know that in order to secure a vital and vibrant future for our cities, state, and region, we must be united in our drive for equity. Our location in the city – in one of the most diverse ZIP codes in the nation – allows Auggies the unique advantage of leveraging the richness and abundance that these many forms of diversity offer.”

Continue reading “Commencement Season Kicks Off April 30 at Augsburg”

Augsburg breaks ground April 29 for new academic building

State-of-the-art Hagfors Center a living demonstration of College commitment to equity, diversity

Exterior of the front of the Hagfors Center for Science, Business, and ReligionMINNEAPOLIS — Groundbreaking for Augsburg College’s state-of-the-art, interdisciplinary Norman and Evangeline Hagfors Center for Science, Business and Religion is Friday.

More than 350 alumni, faculty, students, donors and friends of the College are expected to celebrate the groundbreaking for the Hagfors Center, designed to foster intersections among areas of study, support active learning, and connect the College to the community.

View of the Hagfors Center for Science, Business, and Religion from the current Science Hall“The Hagfors Center is a living demonstration of the College’s dedication to interdisciplinary student learning, urban placemaking and thoughtful stewardship. Our commitment to equity and intentional diversity – our pledge to prepare students of academic ability to solve the most complex problems of our world – will be on view Saturday when we celebrate the success of students from Minneapolis and Rochester, including a traditional undergraduate class with more than 42 percent students of color,” said Augsburg College President Paul C. Pribbenow.

“The new Hagfors Center, which will create learning at the intersections of science, business and religion, is a commitment to our Lutheran heritage and identity. It’s also a promise to explore diverse viewpoints, rich faith traditions, socioeconomic backgrounds, gender expressions, military commitments, learning styles and more.”

In the 10 years since Pribbenow has led the institution, 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.

Continue reading “Augsburg breaks ground April 29 for new academic building”

Students, alumnus talk with KARE 11 about need for accessible bathrooms

Kare 11 - logoThree Augsburg College students and a recent alumnus sat down with KARE 11 reporter Adrienne Broaddus to discuss “bathroom bills” that are popping up across the U.S. concerning transgender rights. In Minnesota, proposed legislation would define which restrooms transgender people could legally use.

Jens Pinther ’15 and Duina Hernandez ’16 expressed the importance of gender-neutral bathrooms, and the story described Augsburg’s intentionality in offering these facilities on campus.

Watch Students at Augsburg College talk gender neutral bathrooms on the Kare 11 site.

Expert: Salmeri available to respond to President Obama’s address on substance abuse disorders, prescription drug addiction

Patrice Salmeri is director of Augsburg's residential collegiate recovery program

MINNEAPOLIS — Patrice Salmeri, director of Augsburg College’s StepUP® Program for students in recovery and President of the Association of Recovery in Higher Education, is a national expert available to talk to media about President Barack Obama’s announcement to bolster medial services for persons in recovery from substance abuse disorders.

When: Salmeri is available until 6:30 p.m., beginning immediately following President Barack Obama’s announcement. (Watch President Obama on the White House live stream at 2:15 p.m. EST at https://www.whitehouse.gov/live.)

What: Salmeri can address the importance of eliminating stigma by:

  • Shifting language used to describe these disorders. For instance, rather than using the term “addiction,” shifting to “substance abuse disorders” to recognize that addiction is a medical issue.
  • Treating substance abuse disorders as medical issues, not unlike society responds to diabetes or other chronic medical illnesses.
  • Ensuring those with substance abuse disorders can access mental health and substance use services as readily as other medical services.

How: Call Stephanie Weiss, director of news and media services, at 612.330.1476.

Full Bio: Patrice Salmeri is the Director of the StepUP® Program at Augsburg College in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the largest residential collegiate recovery programs in the nation. She also serves as the President of the Association of Recovery in Higher Education.

She is a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor, holds a Master’s Degree in Human Development specializing in leadership and spirituality, and also serves as an adjunct faculty member at Augsburg teaching courses related to chemical dependency. During Salmeri’s tenure as Director of StepUP, the program has experienced a 250 percent increase in the quantity of young people in recovery pursuing a college education.

In 2011, The U.S. Department of Education appointed Salmeri a Fellow for the United States Department of Education’s Higher Education Center for Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Violence Prevention. In 2013, The Association for Recovery in Higher Education presented Patrice with The Lifetime Achievement Award for Outstanding Contribution to Collegiate Recovery.

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.