The Reading for Education and Access Leadership (REAL) Series is for mid-level professionals in admissions, enrollment management, financial aid and college access in Minnesota. Higher education staff at both public and private nonprofit institutions are welcome to take part. Through book and article discussions, the  primary goals include:

  • Provide opportunities for networking for mid-career admissions, enrollment management, financial aid and college access professionals in Minnesota
  • Spark conversations surrounding leadership in education and access
  • Offer a curated reading list and prompt thoughtful conversation regarding salient themes in education and access work

Who is a “mid-level professional”?

Mid-level professionals are those with generally 3-10 years of experience in higher education, access work, admissions, student financial services and/or enrollment management. They are the people who are often called upon to mentor younger colleagues without being their supervisors. Is this you? The REAL Series will be an opportunity to connect with others looking to grow in leadership roles in education and access organizations and are seeking a supportive and innovative cohort in Minnesota.

Upcoming sessions

Date: Wednesday, May 25, 2022
Time: 6 to 8 p.m.
Location: Malcolm Yards in Minneapolis
Topic: This session is more informal and is meant to be a celebration of the year and kickoff of the summer series. It’s a great opportunity to connect with colleagues over food and drinks. We’d like to discuss the Pandemic-To-Permanent: 11 Lasting Changes To Higher Education (Forbes).

Date: Wednesday, July 14, 2022
Time: 4 to 5 p.m.
Location: Virtual
Topic: Admissions: A Memoir of Surviving Boarding School by Kendra James

Date: Thursday, August 4, 2022
Topic: MnACC Annual Conference Workshop (This date is designed for MnACC Conference attendees. To register, visit

  • Session #1: Race-conscious admissions
  • Session #2: Financial need practices in Admissions Decision-making
  • Session #3: Colleges in the news

Date: Mid to late August
Time: 6 to 7 p.m.
Location: Virtual
Topic: Colleges in the news (articles to be distributed in advance)

Past discussion topics

Accessing readings

There are lots of opportunities for you to be able to access these books for free and in many formats. All of these books are available in print and either eBook or audiobook as well. We encourage you to find ways to access these books locally and that might include the use of:

  • Local academic libraries for print, eBooks and sometimes audiobooks, too
  • Local academic libraries for interlibrary loan options if the book is not currently available
  • Local public libraries, especially if you’re looking for eBook or audiobook options
  • Local reference librarians
  • Local independent bookstores (you can locate bookstores through IndieBound if you want to purchase your own copy)

Series coordinators

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to the REAL Series coordinators: