The Center for MSIs Hosts National Convening on Minority Serving Institutions

November 8, 2013 - Penn GSE and the Center for Minority Serving Institutions (CMSIs) held a national convening on November 1-3 in Princeton, N.J. Hosted by the Educational Testing Service, this gathering of more than 100 students, educators, administrators and funders of Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) from across the U.S. met to discuss topics ranging from strategies for increasing funding to better ways to address the challenges faced by first-year students. CMSI released the results of a three-year national “Models of Success” study sponsored by Lumina Foundation, The Kresge Foundation and USA Funds.

Twelve Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs) were selected to participate in the study: three Historically Black Colleges and Universities, three Tribal Colleges and Universities, three Hispanic Serving Institutions, and three Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions.  Each of the 12 institutions identified “success stories” of programs and/or practices at their institutions that made significant contributions to student retention, student learning and student degree attainment. With the overarching aim of portraying and communicating these success stories in the literature, the media, and across colleges and universities, the researchers, led by GSE’s Dr. Marybeth Gasman and Dr. Clifton F. Conrad of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, conducted campus visits to each of the 12 institutions. In addition to participating in the study, each institution received a grant for $50,000 to build infrastructure and capacity on their campus.  

For the complete report go to:

Four reports detail the findings of the researchers:

  • Minority Serving Institutions: Educating All Students captures the place of MSIs in society and their role in American higher education.  The report recommends that MSIs, which enroll over 20 percent of all college students in the U.S., should be regarded as examples of how to increase college access and student success for students of color.
  • Using Educational Data to Increase Learning, Retention, and Degree Attainment at Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) examines the use of educational data to increase learning, retention and degree attainment at MSIs.  Beyond assessing institutional performance, MSIs can benefit from gathering data about the experiences and aspirations of their students, interventions that can help students attain educational goals, and the ways in which their students make use of their education.
  • Telling a Better Story: Narrating Student Successes at Minority Serving Institutions.  MSIs’ initiatives to help traditionally under-served students have a tremendous impact in their communities and across the country. The report explores some of strategies to elevate awareness of these contributions and to ensure the participation of MSIs in the national conversation. 
  • Capacity Building Projects details how the 12 MSIs used their $50,000 grants to support innovation in learning, retention, and degree attainment. Examples include creating an academic support program using peer and professional tutors to pairing new students with “navigators” who assist them with navigating campus departments and connecting them with internship and job opportunities.