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

You are welcome to participate in as many sessions as you would like. Shortly after completing the form, you will receive an email with additional details.

**Registration for the summer get-togethers has closed.**

► Conversation on Student Support and Belonging

Date: Tuesday, May 23, 2023
Time: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Location: French Meadow on Grand Avenue in St. Paul

Book: College Students' Sense of Belonging (2nd edition) by Terrell Strayhorn (If purchasing this book will be a financial hardship, please know that an e-copy has been acquired for our group that you can access using this link.)

► Conversation on SCOTUS Decision

Date: Thursday, July 20, 2023
Time: 4 to 5 p.m.
Location: Zoom meeting

A Supreme Court decision on SFFA vs. UNC and SFFA vs. Harvard is expected by June 2023. Following that decision, a REAL Series virtual session will be offered with a special guest and higher education policy expert, Professor Steven G. Poskanzer. Professor Poskanzer currently teaches in the Political Science Department at Carleton College and previously served the Carleton College president from 2011-2021. Prior to our July 20 session, but after the ruling, Professor Poskanzer and co-facilitator Holly Buttrey will curate a recommended materials list.

► Conversation on Being a Leader in Your Office

Date: Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2023
Time: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
LocationRed Barn Pizza Farm in Northfield. The Pizza Barn welcomes human children but no pets allowed (they have horses and chickens on-site!). Attendees should be sure to RSVP in advance and bring their own blanket and/or chair(s), beverages, plates, utensils, and a trash bag to the conversation.)

BookRadical Candor by Kim Scott (This ebook is available for free and is readily found in many public libraries throughout Minnesota if purchasing a copy is a financial hardship.)

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: