Top Ten of 2016

When the Minnesota Campus Compact staff thinks about what we’re grateful for, the first answer is always going to be the thousands of people in this network who are dedicated to doing their work and living their lives in ways that contribute to a just, equitable, and sustainable state, transformative educational experiences, new knowledge, and more engaged citizens. That gratitude list wouldn’t fit in a top ten, so instead we’re naming (in order of chronology, not significance) ten aspects of MNCC’s work over the last year that sustain our spirits and show the potential in our collective commitment to the democratic purposes of higher education.

  1. In January 28 presidents and chancellors from across the state gathered to discuss what Campus Compact’s 30th anniversary action statement meant to them, inspiring some of them to get more involved and leading to a complementary Minnesota statement – read that here.
  2. Our state summit attracted over 300 people for celebration and reflection, including a powerful “This I Believe” statement from Felicia Hamilton-Clark, the Minneapolis Community and Technical College recipient of the 2016 MNCC Presidents’ Student Leadership Award – watch her earn a standing ovation here.
  3. As both a programming and recruitment partner for BushCONNECT, MNCC recruited 27 people from our network to facilitate or attend an event that left them feeling energized, creative, and connected to a diverse array of community leaders – see great photos of them here.
  4. The 2015-16 College Health Corps AmeriCorps VISTA sites wrapped up a great year in which 18,367 people received health services and many new partnerships, programs, and resources were developed, including some focused on supporting low-income student success – learn more about outcomes here and apply to host a 2017-18 VISTA here.
  5. Presentations and participants at the fifth annual Upper Midwest Civic Engagement Summit were so great, the event is turning into a bigger Midwest regional conference, June 6-7, 2017 in Chicago – see 2016 session resources here and apply to present in Chicago here.
  6. We launched a new website and redesigned our newsletter. All the content you appreciate with a more professional look and greater accessibility. If you don’t already subscribe to News to Use, sign up here, and please email Julie with any news, public events, etc., we can share with the network.
  7. Teams from 25 campuses participated in Civic Action Planning sessions, strategizing about deepening and aligning their civic work (rather than simply increasing activity). We’re excited to see how those plans develop and yield positive results in 2017 – meanwhile you can read about the CAP sessions at MSU Moorhead and Augsburg and Winona State.
  8. The Cultural Agility Collaboration benefited the participants, who credited the experience with “renewing their energy and commitment” [100%], gaining new knowledge and “expanding their network of colleagues” [96%], and developing new skills [92%], and also had significant ripple effects, e.g., through a set of civic agency workshop guides, an essay in AAC&U’s Diversity & Democracy, a video on creating inclusive campuses, and numerous presentations at other organizations’ conferences and trainings.
  9. Five teams with college and high school students led Participatory Action Research projects to expand the role of young people in understanding and addressing educational opportunity gaps and expanding youth engagement – see videos and reports from three of them here.
  10. Faculty, staff, student, and community leaders connected in new ways through a sold-out Vision & Voice event and five Communities of Practice drawing on everyone’s knowledge and experience to advance both engagement and equity.