SCSU Strategic Planning & Reporting
Student Life & Development

Department: Minority Student Programs
Director: Shahzad Ahmad
Phone Number: (320) 255-3003


  • To be an advocate for students of color.
  • To provide quality services and multicultural programs to students in order to foster academic and social success.
  • To be the keystone in sustaining the institutional commitment to cultural diversity at St. Cloud State University.
  • To develop and implement retention programs that culminate in graduation.
  • To develop student responsibility for leadership roles and successful careers.


We are committed to:

  • Providing the highest quality services possible to our constituents.
  • Respect differences and working toward greater diversity and inclusiveness.
  • Demonstrate civility in all discourse.
  • Responsible use of fiscal and human resources to serve students in fulfilling the goals of Student Life and Development and the university mission.



  • Integrated approach to student services.
  • Ability to provide for and work with different ethnic groups fairly and equally.
  • Knowledgeable, cohesive staff, healthy team concept among staff members.
  • Respect of students' opinions on the part of staff members-listen to students' needs.
  • Develop students' trust with confidentiality.
  • Prompt service and flexible schedules for tutoring, wide variety of subjects tutored.
  • Staff networks with faculty on behalf of students.
  • Strong base of student-athlete population; presence of strong student leaders overall, strong student organizations.
  • Communication (this may also be viewed as a weakness); able to provide services to students of color, such as informing students of upcoming activities through letters or other means of written communication.
  • Student academic assessment with the use of Faculty Assessment Questionnaire (FAQ).
  • Personal counseling.
  • Assistance with class scheduling and academic counseling.
  • Offer computer lab and quiet study area.
  • Mentoring Program which matches students of color with concerned faculty and staff.
  • "Global" understanding of issues facing students (students of color, student-athletes, single parents, first generation college students, working students, etc.); genuine concern for students and student welfare.
  • Flexibility-able to adjust to urgent needs of individual students and student groups.
  • Institutional knowledge-how to get things done to help students, who to talk to.
  • Ability to connect students to internships/employment opportunities within community due to networking; provide job, internship, and scholarship information to students.


  • Services are not highly visible to all students of color.
  • Not all students understand the value of services provided by MSP.
  • Constantly subjected to stereotypes.
  • Difficulty in communication, in terms of informing all students of color about important events, activities, programs, services, etc.
  • Limited space for academic services, i.e. computer lab and study area.
  • Out-of-date equipment.
  • Lack of assessment of effectiveness of student services on retention.
  • Lack of recognition of successful students, i.e., those not having academic difficulty.
  • Staff time constraints hinder training opportunities for student workers.
  • MSP is a "catch-all" department-assigned and expected to deal with any and all issues regarding diversity; diversity needs to become institutionalized.
  • Staff time constraints-too much to do, not enough time; person-power stretched to the max.


  • Able to work closely with Life Skills Coordinator in Athletic Department.
  • Able to follow-through in assisting student-athletes and students of color improve academically.
  • Continuous improvement in all areas of MSP of services provided to students of color.
  • Help to increase the number of students of color on campus.
  • Help to develop students so that they are more academically sound.
  • Mentor students of color.
  • Student base-with time and training current students would be excellent ambassadors to other students, campus and community.
  • Community is interested in promotion of diversity-opportunity for students in other places on campus and community such as volunteer experiences, paid positions, diversity training, exposure, mentoring experiences, etc.


  • Lack of long-term institutional plan to recruit and retain minority students, thus individual ideas and programs supercede in short-term without building any strong foundation for program's success.
  • Lack of or difficulties in communication with others related to MSP-campus and community.
  • Lack of support at an institutional level for MSP.
  • Lack of adequate resources to assist students-money, time, personnel.
  • Lack of true appreciation for diversity issues on campus at an institutional and/or administrative level-dealing with those issues takes valuable staff time away from serving students.
  • Lack of flexibility within the institution-all students are expected to fit within certain parameters (pigeon-holing); takes staff time to solve problems of students who don't quite "fit" within the box.
  • Losing respect of the students of color due to special arrangements that need to be made in certain circumstances.



  • Academic Learning Center, Write Place, Math Skills Center-utilization of academic support services is key to academic success of students of color.
  • Athletic Department-strong potential for support and influence for student athletes of color.
  • Relationship established with students of color by other departments can influence atmosphere/climate of campus perceived by students-positive or negative experiences.
  • Faculty-perceptions that "teacher does not like me" can translate into poor academic performance and failure.
  • School- or campus-related difficulties can limit a student's success such as financial aid, housing, transportation to school, etc.
  • Institutional Research-could provide research to readily and regularly track students' progress.


  • Negative or positive experiences out in community can influence students' perceptions of climate of community.
  • Community's willingness to get involved through offering opportunities to students of color may not always be there.

Trends in the field:

  • Convince all to believe in diversity and that it works for everyone; broad interest in diversity issues.
  • Making initial contacts and following up with student-athletes to insure success.
  • Bringing student-athletes back to graduate .
  • Academic support services are vital for success of students of color.
  • Minority faculty/staff involvement with students of color also vital for their success.
  • Mentoring programs/community partnerships also needed for student success.
  • Increased interest in diversity issues and multicultural issues.
  • Current arguments in literature regarding the best model for serving students of color:
    • Do separate services create comfort for students or isolate them
    • Provide a separate center with staff of color or have staff of color available in all areas as contacts for students

University Themes

Academic Distinction

Student Life and Development will, through its programs, services and cooperative ventures with faculty, compliment the academic mission of the university. In addition, SLD will provide students with distinctive opportunities to develop cultural sensitivity, leadership, social and career oriented skills necessary for future success.

Current/continuing initiatives:

  • Advance Preparation Program (APP): APP is a summer scholarship program open to all incoming freshman students who are admitted to SCSU. Students earn college credits for courses they take during the program as well as participate in informational seminars and social activities as they learn about college life, the campus of SCSU and the St. Cloud community. (Outcome measure: number of participants, retention of participants, academic tracking of participants)
  • Tutoring-Richard R. Green House: Nearly every general education requirement is tutored through the Richard R. Green House program. Students can sign up through the MSP homepage or visit directly with tutors at the Green House. Individual student schedules are accommodated. Study tables are held daily for student athletes through the Athletes for Success in the Classroom program. Student athletes are encouraged, and sometimes required, by their athletic coaches to attend study tables to maintain their academic standing. For specific classes, study sessions are held prior to exams. One of the unique pieces of the MSP tutoring program is that tutors are very flexible and arrange sessions based on the student's schedule and can do so on short notice. (Outcome measures: numbers of students served, number of tutoring hours, end-of-term grades of participants)
  • Make instructor contacts to track progress of at-risk students. (Outcome measures: number of students assisted prior to critical point in term)
  • Academic advising and scheduling assistance: All three professional staff are recognized advisors through the general ed advising system . (Outcome measures: number of students assisted)
  • MSP Mentoring Program involving faculty, staff and students of color. (Outcome measures: Retention and involvement of students of color, participation in program by students and faculty/staff)
  • MSP Internship Initiative to aid students close to graduation who are without financial aid. (Outcome measures: Number of students served who graduate)
  • Emergency Book Loan Fund-provide short term emergency loans for text books. (Outcome measures: Number of loans given, dollar amount of loans)
  • Cohort block scheduling of classes for first term following APP participation.
  • Minority Academic Support Center computer lab . (Outcome measures: Number of students who use lab, number of hours lab is used)
  • Faculty Assessment Questionnaires-track students, establish target list of students-at-risk, and follow-up with students and faculty. Need to develop system using current technology to automate this process to allow for better assessment. (Outcome measures: Academic progress of students on target list; participation by Administrative Computer Center personnel)

New initiatives for this academic year:

  • Community mentoring program. (Outcome measure: Number of student participants, number of community participants)
  • Students of Color Orientation at beginning of semester. (Outcome measure: Attendance numbers)
  • Seminar series for new students--In order to be successful academically, students must be prepared in other facets of their lives. This series explored issues related to students such as financial aid, jobs and money matters; dealing with law enforcement; study strategies; and issues faced by women of color. (Outcome measure: Attendance numbers)
  • South Africa initiative--Students of color in general do not participate in study-abroad programs for a variety of reasons, one being that they are often the only student of color in a large group of majority students. This initiative will allow students of color to experience this academic opportunity in a comfortable manner, while at the same time learning about another (or their own) culture in detail. (Outcome measure: Interest in participation, eventual institutionalization of program)

Future Goals:

  • Increase availability of tutorial services through Richard R. Green House.
  • Involve all first-year student athletes in Athletes for Success in the Classroom in conjunction with Life Skills program.

Service Community

Student Life and Development will put students first in everything that we do. Guided by periodic assessment, we will provide the highest quality student services possible, cognizant of the diverse needs of our students. Further, SLD will model and advance the values of civility and service to others in an effort to develop a safer and more effective living-learning community.

Current/continuing initiatives:

  • Racial sensitivity/team building training for athletes. (Outcome measure: participant feedback/ Athletic Department)
  • Developing/expanding tutorial services to go with enhanced advising.
  • Maintain contact with students and assist in maintenance of good academic standing after enrollment. (Outcome measure: check grades at end of semester)
  • Computer lab service.
  • Faculty Assessment Questionnaire (FAQ).
  • Information mailed out to students on and off campus.
  • Personal, informal contacts with students.
  • Counseling, both academic and personal.
  • Role modeling and mentoring.
  • Emergency loans. (Outcome measure: numbers served, dollars)
  • Mentoring Program. (Outcome measure: retention, numbers involved)
  • Tutoring and Athletes for Success in the Classroom Programs. (Outcome measure: grade reports, feedback from coaches)
  • Academic follow-up tracking. (Outcome measure: grade reports)
  • MSP Internships. (Outcome measure: retention)
  • Advanced Preparation Program. (Outcome measure: retention, academic progress)
  • Employment assistance. (Outcome measure: placements, retention)
  • Cultural programming. (Outcome measure: contracts, purchase orders processed)
  • Programming support for organizations. (Outcome measure: contracts, purchase orders processed)
  • Incident Reporting Process.
  • President's Student Worker Program. (Outcome measure: retention)

New initiatives for this academic year:

  • Pair student-athletes/students of color with tutors to offer personal touch. (Outcome measure: track academic progress)
  • Community Mentoring Program.
  • Monitoring/Mentoring Program with SCSU and District 742.
  • Create customized class schedules for first term for new students-arrange several schedules, holding seats in classes, from which new students can choose, insuring a core group of students of color in particular classes.
  • Online tutoring scheduling-students can sign up for tutoring on MSP homepage.
  • Newsletter.
  • E-mail communication with students-developing e-mail list.
  • Improved orientation for new students of color.
  • Seminar series touching on issues important to students of color including such topics as studying and coping skills, financial management, challenges for women of color, and safety on campus and in the community.
  • Respect and Responsibility Program to help educate all new and transfer students.

Future Goals:

  • Use a pro-active approach to avoid future difficulties for new students.
  • Use a trained group of peers to provide peer mentorship and support to insure continuous success for students.
  • Involve all first-year student-athletes in Athletes for Success. (Athletic Department and Life Skills Program)
  • Increase tutorial services. (Utilize qualified peer tutors; $12,000 budget)
  • Establish short-term book loan program; establish large emergency loan account-new process has been put in place to collect on loans. (Foundation; Business Office; amount to be determined)
  • Increase hiring of students of color in departments on campus when student is not able to receive financial aid. (Institution-wide commitment, amount to be determined)
  • Refine communication process, make information dissemination more systematic through mailing lists, e-mail, home page.
  • Find a suitable location to combine all MSP services in one area to make a one-stop shop for students.

Diversity and Justice

Student Life and Development through staff contacts, programs and services will foster an understanding of human differences and promote a just community in which every student is free to learn and grow.

Departments within Student Life and Development will provide a supportive, civil and welcoming environment for all members of the university community.

SLD will improve staff understanding of human differences and needs as they pertain to the delivery of services.

Current/continuing initiatives:

  • Programming special events with the support of minority student organizations, continually developing quality programs and events through the year with a dual purpose: 1) To increase the cultural awareness and appreciation among the majority population in order to create an environment that is conducive to the success of students of color; and, 2) To create a supportive environment for minority students and to help them remain in contact with their own culture and heritage. Examples of specific events are: Martin Luther King Birthday Celebration, Black History Month, Chicano History Month, Hmong College Day, Black Issues in Education Video Conference Series, theatre and music presentations, etc. (Outcome measure: Attendance, student involvement in programming, numbers of contracts processed)
  • Work with other departments across campus to create a supportive environment conducive to the success of students of color. All departments on campus must insure that their employees are able to handle culturally diverse clients and the particular and unique issues that may be faced by students of color. This office offers support and guidance to those areas by serving as an advocate for students and offering assistance through liaison activity with other offices when necessary. (Outcome measure: Number of student contacts relating to liaison activity)
  • Work with local school districts to provide mentoring to younger students by college students of color. This activity allows for students of color to work in an off-campus setting and to serve as mentor/role models to youngsters within the community. Students benefit from the responsibility of such a program and the youngsters benefit from interacting with successful students of color, and will perhaps look at college as a possibility for themselves. (Outcome measure: Number of student participants, number of mentees, number of mentoring hours spent)
    Continue to work with the athletic department in presenting diversity issues to increase cultural awareness. Such training reinforces the affirmation of a culturally diverse population which benefits both majority and minority students. (Outcome measure: Participant feedback, number of participants)
  • Encourage students of color to take an active and participatory role in organizations in which minority populations have been traditionally underrepresented, such as Student Government. By encouraging participation, students of color learn leadership and management skills as well as increasing the overall interaction, and therefore awareness and understanding, between students of color and majority students. Students of color may need encouragement toward this end because, as in many instances on a majority campus, they will be the only person of color within a particular group. This can be intimidating. (Outcome measure: Number of participants within particular organizations)
  • Collect and share video and printed resources. This collection is available to any student, faculty or staff person (as well as community person) who is interested in a particular issue. Videos range from documentaries to educational to bibliographical. (Outcome measure: Number of video/reference requests)
  • Advocate/incident reporting-Serve as a contact for those who may have been a target of a hate crime (or know someone who has been), and help that person in get the necessary assistance. Serve as an advocate in contacting other departments to insure that student receives service necessary to deal with incident. (Outcome measure: Number of students assisted, overall climate and attitude changes)

New initiatives for this academic year:

  • Community mentorship program, placing students of color in high visibility positions within the community. (Outcome measure: Number of participants, number of community participants)
  • Student of Color orientation-Talk with students of color about general and specific issues they may face on a majority campus, how to deal with them, and where to find help/support. (Outcome measure: Number of participants)
  • Respect and Responsibility: Sex, Race and Power orientation-Worked cooperatively with Women's Center to revamp the mandatory sexual harassment training to include training on racial sensitivity which is required by all new incoming students to SCSU. (Outcome measure: Participant feedback)

Future Goals:

  • Work with campus entities to increase minority student, faculty, and staff population. (Outcome measure: Campus-wide-all departments, Admissions)
  • Work with community entities to enhance programs for children of color within the community, such as encouraging aspirations toward college. (Outcome measure: more students of color entering higher ed institutions; community service organizations such as Minnesota Community Affairs, etc.)
  • Work toward the time when diversity and cultural programming and issues will not be "special" programs but will be imbedded and infused in all programs through the university.

Information Technology

Student Life and Development will develop and utilize information technology ethically and appropriately to improve services and program access to students and other constituents, with the goals of enhancing academic success and learning in the context of a global society.

Current/continuing initiatives:

  • Make use of Web page/home page for Minority Student Programs and utilize Internet to provide services and information to students, such as on-line registration for tutorial services. (Outcome measure: Number of students who sign up for tutoring services over using Web page, number of hits to Web page)
  • Use current database of all new entering minority students to send "welcome" letters from MSP. This process needs to be refined so more accurate and up-to-date information is available to department.
  • Use e-mail to communicate with students about study groups (Richard R. Green House). (Outcome measure: Usage)
  • Continuing to update Minority Academic Support Center computer lab. (Outcome measure: Compatibility with software available at ALC and other labs as licensure permits)

New initiatives for this academic year:

Future goals:

  • Develop system for more timely access to student database information. (Admissions, Administrative Computer Services)
  • Create database of MSP constituents. (Administrative Computer Services)
  • Develop system to enhance contacts with students-utilize e-mail more often and effectively, keep Web page up-to-date with current events, etc.
  • Create a student list serve on Web for class discussions and study groups for particular classes. (Academic Computer Services, students)
  • Develop system to automatically produce Faculty Assessment Questionnaires. Need to match target list students with instructors and instructor addresses. (Administrative Computer Services)
  • Expand the list of resources for internship and job opportunities to include on Internet. Produce database of companies for employment contacts. (SCSU Web wizards, MSP will coordinate with Career Services)

University-External Relationships

University-External Relationships will be the key to many of our aspirations. Community perception of the value that the university provides determines the level of our support. As a public university, SCSU has the responsibility to be a leading force in intellectual, cultural, and economic development and contribute to the fabric of central Minnesota and the Upper Midwest.

Student Life and Development, through its programs and staff leadership, will contribute to the intellectual, cultural and economic development of the citizens of Central Minnesota.

Student Life and Development will promote and model positive involvement in the community by St. Cloud State University students and staff.

Current/continuing initiatives:

  • Co-sponsorship of events with community organizations like Multicultural Children's Art Connection and Minority Community Affairs, etc. (Outcome measure: Number of events, attendance)
  • Placement of students as employees at St. Cloud Children's Home. (Outcome measure: Number of students placed)
  • Develop network of contacts by active staff participation in community organizations, such as Police Review Board, LaCruz Housing Board, and Mayor's Task Force on Diversity. (Outcome measure: Positive connections due to networking)
  • Provide support to community groups like MCA. (Outcome measure: Evidence of support-financial, in-kind contributions, staff time, etc.)
  • Support the African American Male Forum in providing social and educational opportunities for community. (Outcome measure: Number of opportunities)
  • Continuing to partner with Stearns-Benton Employment Opportunities to create job opportunities for students of color. (Outcome measure: Number of students placed)
  • Partnership with St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce to promote community mentoring programs. (Outcome measure: Number of students placed)
  • Continue to strengthen relationship with Target to promote internship and job opportunities. (Outcome measure: Number of students placed)
  • Continue to promote the Inroads program which recruits minority students for corporate and community leadership internship programs. (Outcome measure: Number of students referred and placed)
  • Work with Public Safety to place students of color in part-time/full-time positions. (Outcome measure: Number of students placed).

New initiatives for this academic year:

  • Seeking funding for emergency book loan from community sources in addition to campus sources. (Community contacts)

Future Goals:

  • Develop program to take students involved in Athletes for Success in the Classroom Program into area schools to tutor student athletes. (School district personnel, Life Skills area).
  • Continue to develop partnerships that support youth in the area. (Community organizations).
  • Work with Alumni Relations to enhance SCSU minority alumni chapter. (Alumni Relations).
  • Work with other groups on campus and St. Cloud Area Legal Services to establish a legal support system for campus constituencies-faculty, staff, and students. (St. Cloud Area Legal Services).