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Minnesota State University, Mankato
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Mural celebrates diversity, diverse students

College Access project

College Access students honor diversity with spectacular mural.

By Tanner Kent, Free Press Staff Writer [published in The Free Press, Mankato, MN, 6/20/2011]

Somehow, they found time to paint a mural.

This summer, 85 students in the College Access Program at Minnesota State Mankato are attempting to complete 12 academic credits in five weeks. Participants are Latino, Asian, African, black and white and fit into the category of students often referred to as “underrepresented.”

Most are the first in their family to begin college. Some, like Jennifer Martinez, are the first to complete high school.

And their five-week pressure-cooker — which is specially designed to prepare students for college whose academic record in high school showed promise, but fell below entrance requirements — is only just begun.

During the program, students stay in Crawford residence hall, eat breakfast at 7 a.m., attend class by 8 a.m. and — with only a few breaks for meals — stay in class until 9 p.m. They’re in school five days a week and have social activities on the weekend.

And to celebrate the conclusion of the first week — as well as celebrate MSU’s commitment to offering college access to a diverse student population — each student contributed to a spectacular mural in the Wigley Administration Building, attached to the Centennial Student Union.

For the complete story, see the June 20 Free Press print edition, or go to the e-edition at

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