Supporting MSP Students within the KU Community


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The mission of the Multicultural Scholars Program (MSP) is to support the recruitment, retention, and academic success and career preparation of underrepresented, Pell eligible, and first generation undergraduate students. The program exists under the direction of the Vice Provost for Diversity & Equity, Jennifer Ng, and demonstrates how the University of Kansas is committed to maintaining a diverse campus community where all students have equitable opportunities to succeed in their academic and professional goals.

Vision: Career Readiness, Civic Engagement, and Community

The vision of the Multicultural Scholars Program is to support the recruitment and retention of student scholars.  Research tells us that underrepresented racial/ethnic minority students perform better academically and are more likely to experience academic success when they are part of a cohort of others who share similar social identities.  These findings are central to the purpose of the Multicultural Scholars Program.  The program connects students to a small community of others within their respective academic units and to a broader group of students and former students across disciplines that, collectively, provide an active and coherent social and professional network.  Students participate in small and large cohort activities that offer space to share experiences, practice civic engagement through extracurricular activities, and participate in opportunities that enhance their readiness for careers and/or graduate studies. This includes career preparation activities beyond what is offered in classroom curriculum, general opportunities to develop community engagement and leadership experience, and active membership in an ever growing social and professional network of MSP Jayhawks past and present.

Who can Apply?

MSP is open to U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent resident undergraduate students who fall into one or more of the following groups:

  • Underrepresented racial and ethnic minority groups (Black / African American, Native Hawaiian / Asian Pacific Islander, Asian/Asian American, American Indian / Alaskan Native, Latinx / Hispanic)
  • First-generation college students (meaning that neither of your parents earned a college degree)
  • High financial need as defined by Pell Grant eligibility (as indicated from your FAFSA submission to the University)

Program History:

The Multicultural Scholars Program was founded in 1992 within the School of Buisness by former professor and Executive Director, Dr. Renate Mai-Dalton.  In the past twenty eight years, MSP has expanded to provide financial and academic support to over 200 students in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and the Schools of Architecture, Education, Journalism, Pharmacy, Music, and Social Welfare.

Scope of Activity:

The central Office of Diversity and Equity leads and supports the development of equitable and inclusive policies, practices, and programs that support the diversity of KU students, faculty, and staff.  Organized into two overlapping divisions, our office leads and works collaboratively to create policies that build a more equitable and inclusive learning and workplace environment.  At the same time, we are student-focused and our social-identity based offices include the Multicultural Scholars Program, Emily Taylor Center for Women and Gender Equity, Office of Multicultural Affairs, Haskell American Indian Nations University Liaison Office, and the Office of Sexuality and Gender Diversity.  Now reorganized into a new structure, these offices are working collaboratively to plan and offer educational enhancement resources and campus community learning and engagement programs.  Within these categories, the campus receives micro-level interactive resources to support the successful academic outcomes of marginalized students, especially; supplemental learning and support for all students; and public engagement programming that contributes directly to institutional cultural competency for all students, faculty, and staff.



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