The Reading for Education and Access Leadership (REAL) Summer 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. Our book discussions that will be conducted via Zoom in June and July, with the August date in person at Minnehaha Falls. 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 3-9 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 Summer 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.

When will these take place?

  • Tuesday, June 22, 2021 from 4 to 5 p.m. via Zoom
  • Tuesday, July 20, 2021 from 4 to 5 p.m. via Zoom
  • Thursday, August 12, 2021 from 5 to 6 p.m. at Minnehaha Falls (you’ll find us at the tables; see map below) in Minneapolis
map of Minnehaha Park with parking and meeting area noted

What will we be reading?

  • JUNE: Caste: the Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
    An excellent option for participants who are interested in having conversations on race, class and history in the United States
  • JULY: Cow Country by Adrian Jones Pearson
    A good fit for participants seeking a witty novel to prompt conversation on challenges faced by administrators and higher education practitioners broadly
  • AUGUST: Demographics and the Demand for Higher Education by Nathan Grawe
    An interesting book for participants who are excited about data-based and analytical approaches to enrollment management

How will we access these books?

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)


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

How do I sign up?

Fill out this registration form below, and details will be sent out soon.

**Registration has now closed.**