Equity 2030 and the Impact of MavPASS

Minnesota State University, Mankato takes a stance on the system wide initiative to ensure all students who enroll in an institution are successful with the Equity 2030 plan.

The Equity 2030 plan is a calculated plan that every college and university is participating in to further integrate equity into the Minnesota State system by the year 2030.

This means to continue enriching students’ success in academics, student engagements, financial resources and support, and diversity in the workforce are just a few topics among others this plan will strive to enhance. 

“The university is here to help, it is our goal and our mission to have everybody who comes to MSU to be successful,” Dr. Henry Morris, Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion stated.

“One of the things we always say to students about how they can themselves, is to first of all ask for help. Many times students get in trouble and just drop out or give up and we always tell them to ask or tell somebody. You might be able to get the problem that you think is insurmountable, might be surmountable with the help of someone else,” Morris continued.

The main goal for this plan is to abolish the educational equity gap. A huge contribution MNSU is making moving forward to the equity 2030 plan is MNSU’s MavPASS program.

The MavPASS  program is a purely facilitated academic support system, providing support to students by fellow students. This allows students to attend study sessions outside of class to help reinforce the material on more challenging courses. 

This results in students receiving an average of a whole letter grade higher while attending MavPASS sessions, and reduction in the opportunity gap between domestic students of color and white students. 

“One of the goals of MavPASS is to close that opportunity gap, the more students attend MavPASS sessions the more that gap closes. Another aspect we make efforts in hiring diverse leaders so students feel represented when they attend MavPASS sessions,” Laura Jacobi, Director of MavPASS and Associate Professor and Department of Communication Studies, stated.

“This program is open to everyone not just specifically for students who are struggling, anyone who goes to these sessions can benefit from them. Even if you feel like you are doing well in the course, MavPASS is a great way to study and reinforce the material. The students in the session are doing most of the talking and problem solving so it’s a good way to practice. Also having the benefit as the student who is doing well is that you can help other students who are struggling,” Jacobi continued.

Another aspect analyzed is the DFW Rates. The DFW Rate is the percentage of students who receive a “D”, “F”, or withdraw from a class. Since MavPASS has been implemented, data has shown the percentage of students failing or withdrawing from a class goes down to zero having attended 10 or more MavPASS study sessions. 

This fairly new program starting last year with five classes and now expanding to eight-teen classes, has greatly improved students’ success in difficult courses, especially those regarding STEM. Students from all different levels are encouraged to join these sessions.

“I think it is important that the university has equal opportunities for success for all students, no matter the path you are on or the one you came from. A good university should offer the same opportunities for anyone and everyone to be successful,” Macie Martin, freshman at MNSU said.

Free of cost, these study sessions are open to everyone and can be found through the MNSU website. Although about two-thirds of the lessons have now transitioned onto Zoom due to COVID-19.

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