Minnesota State Community and Technical College has been awarded $100,000 from the Otto Bremer Trust to support a health professions pipeline program that will improve the potential for first-generation and students of color to become health care professionals.

The grant was one of 210 totaling $12.1 million that were announced June 30 by the Otto Bremer Trust for its most recent grantmaking cycle.

The planned pipeline program will address the equity and achievement gap between BIPOC/first-generation students and white students, which is particularly significant in health care programs. 

In its grant application, M State noted that “as health professionals are in high demand nationally, focusing on healthcare programs presents a unique opportunity to prepare BIPOC students for dynamic careers with high earning potential in a sector that is now more important than ever.”

The student population at M State is increasingly diverse, with nearly 30% of enrolled students identifying as BIPOC in 2020, compared to 22 percent in 2016. The pipeline program will support BIPOC and first-generation students through mentoring, academic coaching and career preparation.

M State currently offers 18 health care programs online and on its four campuses in Detroit Lakes, Fergus Falls, Moorhead and Wadena, with placement rates of 90%-100% in related health care occupations. However, BIPOC students are nearly 90% less likely to graduate from health care programs than their white classmates.

The Otto Bremer Trust, one of the nation’s largest philanthropic organizations, is based in St. Paul and is committed to supporting a better quality of life for residents of Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota and Wisconsin.

As a member of the Minnesota State system, M State serves more than 8,000 students in credit courses each year in more than 70 career and liberal arts programs online and at its campuses in Detroit Lakes, Fergus Falls, Moorhead and Wadena. By partnering with communities, the college also provides workforce development services and other responsive training programs.


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