How our consortium addresses the issue of equity
Minnesota Adult Basic Education, at its foundation, has long been a system designed to be equitable to all students. No one is turned away because of how they identify themselves or because of their immigration status, race, sexual identity, socioeconomic status, or level of education. In addition, no one is treated differently because of any of these statuses. Policies and procedures are uniform at all sites across the consortium, and for all students enrolled in programming. Programming is designed to best serve the needs of the learners, with special attention paid to providing opportunities that work for learners who have jobs, parenting issues, transportation issues, mental health and learning disorders.
This consortium serves racially and ethnically diverse populations of learners. In the last program year, the consortium enrolled over 500 adult learners who listed 72 different home countries and spoke 50 native languages. The largest ethnicity served was by White or Caucasian (53.7%), followed by black or African American (17%) Hispanic (15.1%), Asian (5.6%), American Indian or Alaskan Native (5.2%). The remainder identified with two or more races. Classrooms don’t look much different today than they did ten years ago. Although there are pockets of different ethnicities, there is little increased ethnic representation in the region as a whole, as reflected in the chart below.