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What is Core?

Community-Based Initiative

The Community Outreach Retention and Engagement Program is a community-based initiative; what that means is that our primary work in is done in local schools, community-based organizations, faith-based institutions, and public spaces. Our staff (known as Community Specialists or Community Leads) live and work in their assigned districts, the overall goal is to ensure that our initiative grows from within local communities, not out of the University of Minnesota. 

Our focus and primary objective is to increase access to the University of Minnesota (and higher education in general) in our target communities. We recognize this effort has to be in partnership with communities, their institutions, and the families that inhabit them. 

Socially Aware Leadership

We are aware of the complex history the University of Minnesota has with diverse communities, instead of avoiding that reality, we lead with an understanding that we must rebuild trust in some places and earn trust in others. We will do that by being present and engaged in local life, volunteer with organizations, and spend time learning about the political, educational, financial, and social realities of our communities so that we can find where CORE fits best in each unique place. 

People Focused Style

CORE focuses on people that we serve. Every staff member is trained in up-to-date scholarship on making interpersonal connections, building consensus, and have a people-focused approach to conversations, mentorship, and community engagement.

Comprised of Six Elements

  • Campus Events 
  • School/Community-Based Mentorship
  • Knowledge Campaigns
  • Coordinating College Living and Learning Communities 
  • Public Speaking and Volunteerism
  • Connecting to additional Services