Enhancing College Access and Success Through Participatory Action Research


A Minnesota Campus Compact and Youthprise Pilot Program in 2015-16

This program offered professional development and funding to high school youth, college/university students and community-engaged staff/faculty to conduct participatory action research (PAR) projects related to educational environments, community engagement, and preparation for college, careers, and civic life. The program seeks to expand the role of young people in understanding and addressing educational opportunity gaps and advancing youth engagement while informing the MNCC network’s ongoing efforts to improve educational cultures, policies, and practices to better serve Minnesota’s increasingly diverse students. Learn more about the past funded PAR projects here. 

Introductory PAR Workshops

Faculty, students, staff, and community partners interested in participatory action research attended regional workshops on September 25, 2015 at Minnesota State University, Mankato; Thursday, October 8, 2015 at University of Minnesota’s Robert J. Jones Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center (UROC); and October 30, 2015 at Saint John’s University, Collegeville. Find out more about the information and ideas shared in this blog post.

Program Benefits for Member Campuses

  • Funding to support Participatory Action Research: Teams of students with staff/educators from campuses, schools, and youth-serving organizations applied to Youthprise between June 1, 2015 and October 1, 2015 for matching grants to implement PAR project
  • Leverage campus (or campus-raised) funds: Youthprise provided a 1:1 match (minus a 7% administrative fee) for funds raised by campuses to support PAR projects. Up to $10,000 will be matched per campus. Any funds raised by campuses and deposited in the Youthprise “MNCC PAR Fund” will be restricted for dissemination to research teams from their respective campus. All funds must be deposited by October 1, 2015.
  • Professional development: Interested high school and college/university students, faculty, and staff attended regional workshops in the fall of 2015 to learn more about PAR. A PowerPoint from the pre-conference session at the 2015 Upper Midwest Civic Engagement Summit is available here. PAR grantees will share their projects’ findings and lessons at Vision & Voice: Inspiring Civic Agency and Engagement for Equity, October 14, 2016, at Metropolitan State University.


Journals, articles, reports:

Toolkits, activities, handbooks, websites:

Want to Get Involved?
With any questions or to express interest in a workshop or research grant, please contact Megan Voorhees, PAR Initiative Coordinator, at par {at} mncampuscompact(.)org or 612-359-6461.