6 MSIs From Outside of the United States

Today’s Monday Morning MSI Line Up features amazing MSIs that exist in countries outside of the United States. “Minority” is a relative term that varies from country to country and these MSIs are doing the necessary work to support, educate, and uplift students of color all across the planet.

1) University of Waikato, Maori & Pacific Development in New Zealand

Pic for New Zealand

The University of Waikato, Maori & Pacific Development Development program provides students with the chance to thoughtfully observe concepts, models, policies, process, and outcomes of ‘development’ primarily from the lens and view of the indigenous peoples if New Zealand. In 2010 the Maori people made up approximately 15 percent of the population in New Zealand, which is the second largest group in New Zealand, with European New Zealanders (“Pakeha”) being the majority group. The program was created for students to help their development with conceptual tools, critical thinking, research methods, practical skills, and to prepare them for professional practice in their selected fields. Sustainability has become a hot topic and indigenous thinkers have much to offer in terms of their perspectives and approaches to help meet the needs of their people and community.

2) Arabic Islamic Institute in Tokyo, Japan


Pic for Islamic school

The Arabic Islamic Institute in Tokyo teaches Arabic language and the foundational Islamic principals with the help of Saudi Embassy in Japan. Their policies originate from the Islamic teachings and principals in conjunction with teaching intensive Arabic language preparatory classes. In 2014, the total population in Japan was approximately 126,788,000 and Muslimsmade up about 100,000 of that population.

3) Universidade Zumbi Dos Palmares in Brazil

School in Brazil

The Universidade Zumbi Dos Palmares has been around since 2004 and their student population is almost 90 percent Black. Brazil’s only Black college is beginning to expand and has a powerful mission that entails growing opportunities for Black student in Brazil. It has about 1,600 students attending and 1,400 graduates enrolled. The Universidade Zumbi Dos Palmares uplifts and provides opportunities for Brazilians with African decent.

4) University of  Western Cape in South Africa

School in SA

The University of the Western Cape has a history of perseverance, fighting against oppression, discrimination, and disadvantage. Among academic institutions, it has been the home base of South Africa’s historic change, playing an important role in academic equality for disadvantaged students. UWC’s primary concerns pertain to access, equity, and quality in higher education, all of which arise from extensive practical engagement in helping the historically marginalized participate fully in the life of the nation. In 1959, Parliament adopted legislation establishing the University College of the Western Cape as a constituent college of the University of South Africa for people classified as “Coloured.” The first group of 166 students enrolled in 1960. In 1970 the institution gained university status and was able to award its own degrees and diplomas.

5) St. Stephens College in India

School in India

St. Stephen’s College is a religious foundation drawing inspiration from Jesus Christ. It aims at helping its members realize spiritual and moral as well as intellectual and aesthetic values. Founded in 1881, St. Stephen’s College is the oldest college in Delhi. With the establishment of Delhi University in 1922 it became one of its three original constituent colleges. The population in India is approximately 1,292,710,000 people and of that only about 24,000,000 identify as Christian, which is about 2.3 percent of the overall population in India.

6) First Nations Technical Institute in Canada

Canada pic 2

The First Nations Technical Institute in Canada (FNTI) is an Indigenous institute the provides creative academic and intellectual opportunities aimed at improving the capacity and strength of their students and surrounding communities. In partnership with several Ontario colleges and universities, FNTI delivers culturally-rich post-secondary programs. Most courses offer their students a unique education that allows learners to engage in their surrounding communities across the province. In Canada, the first native people are collectively called the Aboriginal people. According to the 2011 National Household Survey, the Aboriginal people were about 4.3 percent of the entire Canadian population. The Aboriginal population are categorized in to subgroups which include Métis and Inuit.

8 Movies Filmed at MSIs

Many movies are filmed at colleges or use their campuses to stage iconic scenes. Today’s Monday Morning MSI Line Up features movies filmed specifically at MSIs. Have you seen any of them?

1) Drumline (2002)


Featured Institutions: Morris Brown & Clark Atlantic University (HBCUs)

2) Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)

Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Featured Institution: California State University of Long Beach (AANAPISI/HSI)

3) Bring it On (2000)

Bring it On

Featured Institution: San Diego State University (HSI)

4) School Daze (1988)

School Daze








Featured Institution: Spelman College (HBCU)

5) Miss Congeniality (2000)


Featured Institution: Texas A&M International University (HSI)

6) D.O.A (1988)

Featured Institution: Texas A&M International University (HSI)

7) Stomp the Yard (2007)

Stomp the Yard

Featured Institutions: Morris Brown University, Morehouse College, and Clark Atlanta University (HBCUs)

8) Stranger than Fiction (2006)


Featured Institution: University of Illinois at Chicago (AANAPISI)

7 Celebrities That Went to AANAPISIs

By Stephanie Mayo

Today’s Monday Morning MSI Line Up features 7 celebrities who attended an Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution (AANAPISI). Also be sure to check out previous MSI Line Ups that feature 8 Celebrities that Went to HSIs or 10 Famous HBCU Alumni!

1) Jeannie Mai — De Anza Community College (CA)


Born in San Jose, California to her Vietnamese father and Chinese mother, Jeannie Mai studied Communications at De Anza Community College close to home. Mai is known for her fashion and makeup expertise, as well as her acting and TV personality career. Her career began as a MAC makeup artist, which gave her opportunities to be exposed to other famous celebrities. She then began working as a celebrity hair stylist for MTV’s TRL, KCL-Los Angeles and Good Morning Sacramento. Her career skyrocketed in 2004 after co-hosting  the Emmy-nominated Asian American Magazine-Style show, Stir TV. She is now most famous for her fashion advice on NBC’s Today Show, Extra TV, and E!’s the Daily 10, and for being the host of How do I look? and Character Fantasy. Currently, she hosts The Real with Tamar Braxton, Adrienne Bailon, Loni Love, and Tamera Mowry.

2) Dustin Nguyen — Orange Coast College (CA)


Born in Vietnam but evacuating with his family to the US during the Fall of Saigon in 1975, Dustin Nguyen was determined to change the fate of his family. He is now renowned for his acting roles in top movies and directing the movies he has produced. Nguyen attended Orange Coast College and studied Communications. His acting and producing career started when he landed the roles of a young Cambodian freedom fighter in Magnum P.I.  and “Suki” in General Hospital. What made him famous to the nation, however, was when he became a part of the cast of 21 Jump Street as Detective Harry Ioki. The first movie he ever produced was in 2010, Fool for Love. He is mostly famous for his roles in 21 Jump Street, V.I.P, Little Fish, The Doom Generation, and The Rebel.

3) Nayan Padrai — Queensborough Community College (NY)


Born in Mumbai, India but raised in Forest Hills, New York, Nayan Padrai moved to NYC to study drama at Queensborough Community College before transferring to the School of Visual Arts to study screenwriting and acting there. Padrai is famous as an award-winning screenwriter, producer, and director. His successful career began with his position as an Associate Producer for a tv series, Mausam, Seasons. Since then, he was won several awards for his scripts and movies, such as When Harry Tries to Marry in 2009. He is now working on Billion Dollar Raja, which he recently announced will be completed soon.

4) Amit Tandon — Stony Brooke University (NY)


An musician and actor, Amit Tandon was born in New York, New York famous for his singing and acting career in India. After obtaining his BA from Stony Brooke University, he moved to India to audition for Indian Idol. Although he did not make it far in Indian Idol, the show gave Amit his breakthrough to a successful television and film career. His first role was in Dill Mill Gayye as Dr Abhimanyu Modi. He was then offered the opportunity to host season 4 of a reality show called Dadagiri. Since then, he has been on multiple shows, such as Jeeta Wohi Superstar and Zara Nachke Dikha, and has even performed in films, such as Kaisa Yeh Pyaar Hai. The most current film he performed in, Yeh Hai Mohabbatein,  just released.

5) Phillip Lim — California State University, Long Beach


Born in Thailand of Chinese descent, Phillip Lim and his family moved to Orange County, CA when he was a baby. Phillip Lim is famous for his fashion designs incorporating both his American and Asian cultures. He was exposed to his mother’s work as a seamstress, which assisted him in navigating the fashion world. He entered Long Beach with a desire to go into business to make his parents happy, but his experience working with the L.A. clothing line called “Development” made him realize he was actually interested in fashion. He changed his major to Home Economics to graduate. He later created his own label, 3.1 Phillip Lim. Now he has various clothing lines. He has five women’s lines, one men’s line, one children’s line, one swim line, one lingerie line and one eco-friendly line.

6) Benjamin Alves—University of Guam


Born in Guam of Philippine descent, Benjamin Alves (also known as Vince Saldaña) attended the AANAPISI located where he was born. Alves is famous for his acting career abroad in the Philippines. After graduating from high school, he moved to the Philippines to jumpstart his acting and modeling career, where he experienced his initial success by becoming a finalist in a model competition on ABS-CBN’s Close-Up to Famewhere. From then on, he was recruited to appear in movies, such as  Ang Cute Ng Ina Mo and Apat Dapa, Dapat Apat and in soap operas, such as Ysabella and Impostora. A few years later (2009), he returned to Guam and graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Guam majoring in English Literature. Now in the Philippines, he signed a contract with another Philippines TV station, GMA Network, for three movies and three soap operas. He is well known for Islands, If Only, and The Trial.

7) Janina Gavankar —University of Illinois in Chicago

SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 13: Actress Janina Gavankar attends the "Game Of Thrones" HBO celebration party inside the WIRED Cafe at Palm Terrace At The Omni Hotel during Comic-Con International 2012 on July 13, 2012 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images for WIRED)

Both of Dutch and Indian descent, Janina Gavankar was born and raised in Joliet, IL. Janina Gavankar is well known for her acting and music career. She studied Music, Theater and Psychology at University of Illinois in Chicago. What began her career was her starring role in a short clip, Why is God… After her short clip, Janina has had various roles in movies, television shows, screenwriting and producing. Gavankar is most famous for her roles in The Mysteries of Laura, The League, Far Cry 4, True Blood and Vampire Diaries. She is currently focusing on her roles in Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday and The White Orchard, which are both coming out next year.

Low Cost, High Impact: MSI Bang for Your Buck

By Melanie Wolff

When an institution has a high graduation rate, people often assume a high price tag comes along with it. But MSIs, built to serve underrepresented students, are often resourceful in making a little go a long way. To show this, today’s Monday Morning MSI Line Up features 10 MSIs with tuition below $10,000 a year that also have graduation rates above the national average of 44%.*

* All tuition costs and graduation rates have been taken from the new College Scorecard.

1) Clinton College (HBCU)

Rock Hill, SC


  • Average Annual Cost: $4,758
  • Graduation Rate: 59%

2) Humacao Community College (HSI)

Humacao, PR


  • Average Annual Cost: $8,386
  • Graduation Rate: 58%

3) Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College (TCU)

Hayward, WI


  • Average Annual Cost: $6,458
  • Graduation Rate of 58%

4) California State University – Stanislaus (HSI)

Turlock, CA


  • Average Annual Cost: $7,797
  • Graduation Rate: 50%

5) Talladega College (HBCU)

Talladega, AL


  • Average Annual Cost: $9,062
  • Graduation Rate: 49%

6) California State University – Fresno (HSI)

Fresno, CA


  • Average Annual Cost: $7,093
  • Graduation Rate: 48%

7) Chief Dull Knife College (TCU)

Lame Deer, MT


  • Average Annual Cost: $2,740
  • Graduation Rate: 47%

8) University of New Mexico – Main Campus (HSI)

Albuquerque, NM


  • Average Annual Cost: $8,126
  • Graduation Rate: 47%

9) Seward County Community College and Area Technical School (HSI)

Liberal, KS


  • Average Annual Cost: $4,873
  • Graduation Rate: 46%

10) Pasadena City College (HSI)

Pasadena, CA


  • Average Annual Cost: $5,718
  • Graduation Rate: 45%



Top 10 HBCUs with the Highest Median Earnings

By DeShaun Bennett

With student enrollment numbers decreasing, the cost of attendance increasing, and loan qualification tightening, students and families are becoming more concerned with the financial return on their investments when deciding what college to attend. Using the public data produced by the U.S Department of Education College Scorecard, below are the top 10 HBCUs with the highest median earnings for undergraduate students 10 years after entering school.

1. Bowie State University – Bowie, MD – $47,000

BSU MSI Lineup

Bowie State University, a public 4-year institution located in the suburban city of Bowie, MD, has stellar cyber security programs. The cyber security programs were recognized as a National Center for Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. Bowie State has many great initiatives taking place. It’s first signature program, Education Innovation Initiative, provides work experience for students to develop technology-based solutions to real-world problems of local corporations.


2. Xavier University of Louisiana – New Orleans, LA – $46,500


Xavier University of Louisiana, a private 4-year Roman Catholic school located in the Crescent City, is one of only two pharmacy schools in Louisiana. Xavier’s College of Pharmacy is among the nation’s top four producers of African American Doctor of Pharmacy degree recipients. Xavier is also the No.1 ranked pre-medical program in the nation to produce African-American graduates who go on to complete medical school. Around 43% of Xavier students are either in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences program or the Physical Science program.


3. Howard University – Washington, D.C – $46,500

Howard MSI Lineup

Howard University is a private, four-year university in Washington, D.C. Howard’s most popular academic programs include Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services, and the college is the top producer of Peace Corp volunteers.


4. Spelman College – Atlanta, GA – $ 46,400

Spelman MSI

Spelman College, one of two all-women HBCUs, has been recognized among the top 100 national liberal arts colleges and is the no. 1 ranked HBCU for the third straight year, according to the 2016 U.S. News & World Report “Best Colleges” rankings. Spelman also topped the list as the No. 1 producer among small schools that provide alumni for Teach For America.


5. Hampton University – Hampton, VA – $42,200


Hampton University in Hampton, VA is known for its stellar Psychology and Health Professions Programs. Home of the Pirates, Hampton has graduated notable African-American trailblazers like Booker T. Washington and Douglas Palmer, the first African-American mayor of Trenton, NJ. In 2011, Hampton University was listed in the top 10 rankings in the Research Category for master’s universities in the Washington Monthly College Guide.


6. Morehouse College, Atlanta, GA – $40,900


Morehouse College, the nation’s only all-male institution founded with the purpose of bettering African-American men, strives to develop men with disciplined minds who will lead lives of leadership and service. Morehouse’s 10th president, Rev. Dr. Robert Michael Franklin, created the “Five Wells,” an ideal to cultivate men of Morehouse as “Renaissance men with social conscience and global perspective” who were Well-Read, Well-Spoken, Well-Traveled, Well-Dressed and Well-Balanced. Morehouse has many notable alumni including Martin Luther King, Jr., Maynard Jackson, and Edwin C. Moses.


7. Morgan State University– Baltimore, MD – $39,700


Morgan State University is a 4-year public institution in Baltimore, MD. Morgan State awards more bachelor’s degrees to African-Americans than any other institution in the state. Morgan State accounts for large percentages of engineering and science degrees received by African-Americans in Maryland.


8. University of Maryland Eastern Shore– Princess Anne, MD – $37,800

University of Maryland Eastern Shore MSI Lineup

The University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) is a land-grant HBCU founded in 1886 as the Delaware Conference Academy. UMES’s most popular academic programs include Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services. UMES offers 26 major programs, 13 teaching degree programs, and 8 pre-professional programs.


9. Coppin State University– Baltimore, MD – $37,600 

Coppin State University

Coppin State is a public urban liberal arts university. Coppin’s most popular programs are related to Health and Health Professions. Coppin has also offers the Black Male Initiative Task Force, a core group of students, faculty, and staff who meet regularly to strategize and plan initiatives to improve the retention rates of black male students.


10. Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University– $37, 300 


Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU), a 4-year public university, is the no. 1 producer of African Americans with baccalaureate degrees. Graduates in FAMU’s pharmacy, public health, and nursing programs previously achieved 100 percent passage rates on their respective professional licensure examinations.

6 HBCUs Promoting Global Studies – With Guest Writer Louis Bolling

Today’s Monday Morning MSI Line Up highlights six HBCUs that promote global studies and international partnerships and serve as institutions that develop global citizens.

1) Alcorn State University, Office of Global Programs

Dr. Dovi Alipoe, Alcorn State University’s Director of Global Programs (left) and Roland Rich, Executive Head of the United Nations Democracy Fund, (right).

Through its Office of Global Programs (OGP)Alcorn State offers students unique and rewarding international experiences and general global understanding, both in other countries and on campus. Alcorn State has cooperative agreements with several international universities for faculty, student and research exchange ranging from universities in Russia to Nicaragua. Students have successfully maintained a Model UN Club and the Mississippi-based university also facilitates a United Nations lecture series hosting UN dignitaries.

2) Delaware State University, Office of International Affairs

image (1)
Delaware State University students representing international diversity within the student body.

Delaware State University’s Office of International Affairs (OIA) has a mission of integrating a global perspective into the teaching, research, and study abroad programs of the institution. Delaware State (DSU) was one of 17 recipients of the Obama Administration’s First in the World grants, selected out of more than 300 applicant institutions. In addition, OIA host lecture series as part of the ongoing partnership with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund aimed to bring more international programming to HBCUs.

3) Morgan State University, Center for Global Studies and International Affairs

image (2)
Dr. David Wilson, Morgan State University President (seated in the center) with students of the Division of International Affairs.

Morgan State University (MSU) has established over 30 international relationships with universities in various countries. MSU’s Center for Global Studies and International Education houses the iPal Program which consists of a matching program designed to partner international and domestic students studying at MSU for the purpose of a cultural exchange and building friendships. Morgan State has long been a Fulbright leader among HBCUs with students having received a total of 136 Fulbright-related grants for study, research, and teaching in 44 different countries. MSU also offers global programming through its School of Global Journalism and Communication.

4) Savannah State University, International Education Center

image (3)
The Confucius Institute at Savannah State University launch ceremony.

The International Education Center (IEC) at Savannah State University promotes and supports efforts to internationalize the university’s curriculum and to help expose students to our global society. One of IEC’s initiatives, The Confucius Institute at Savannah State University, is committed to promoting intercultural understanding, knowledge of China and its cultural traditions, and providing resources to facilitate the learning of Chinese language and culture. IEC’s other work includes a Model United Nations, a Model African Union, and the Ghana Group Project Abroad program, which exposes the historically significant relationship between Savannah, Georgia, a major port city in the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, and the West Coast of Africa.

5) Texas Southern University, The Confucius Institute

Chinese dragons are a symbol of China and are believed to bring good luck to people.
Chinese dragons are a symbol of China and are believed to bring good luck to people.

The Confucius Institute at Texas Southern University (TSU) serves students, faculty, staff and community members by fostering exchange and cultural dialogue. The first of its kind in the greater Houston metropolitan area and one of 226 centers worldwide, the Institute focuses on increasing employment opportunities for Texas Southern students through language training, cross-cultural exchange and professional development programs. The Confucius Institute at Texas Southern University maintains a strong partnership with Beijing Jiatong University and the Chinese Consulate.

6) Tuskegee University, Tuskegee University Global Office

image (4)
Former Tuskegee, Alabama Mayor Omar Neal welcomes participants to the third International Food and Nutrition Conference at Tuskegee University in 2011.

Tuskegee University Global Office (TUGO) aims to graduate global-minded citizens who are truly prepared to apply their talents. The Global Education Fair is one of the Office’s highlights in addition to international performances, guest speakers, undergraduate research presentations, and study abroad opportunities. TUGO currently partners with 18 institutions in 13 countries to provide various forms of humanitarian and agricultural resources. Tuskegee has hosted the Global Youth Innovation Network (GYIN)/Tuskegee University Summit, a Tuskegee University-Phelps Stokes partnership initiative designed to expose college students and young entrepreneurs to the Tuskegee University.

9 Award-Winning Authors Who Attended MSIs

By Briana O’Neal

For years, writers have used literature as a tool to reflect the experiences of their race and impact of their culture. Today’s Monday Morning MSI Line Up features 9 award-winning authors who attended MSIs and used their writing to give a voice to the underrepresented communities in which they were raised.

1) Toni Morrison – Howard University

Toni Morrison’s works of fiction span several time periods and pay homage to the Black experience in America. Among several other accolades, Morrison holds the 1988 Pulitzer Prize and American Book Award as well as the 1993 Nobel Prize for Literature. She earned her B.A. in English from Howard University in 1953.

2) Rudolfo Anaya – University of New Mexico

Heavily influenced by the Chicano Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, this University of New Mexico alumnus is a Mexican-American author whose writing is known for its Chicano themes. He is hailed as the most widely read author in Hispanic Communities, best known for his book Bless Me, Ultima. “I write for my New Mexican community,” he says, “the Spanish-speaking world, but also for the entire world.” His novel Albuquerque received the PEN-West Fiction Award in 1992.

3) Paula Gunn Allen – University of New Mexico

Paula Gunn Allen is a Native American author who received her Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of New Mexico and was a professor of Native American and Ethnic Studies. She is credited as the “founding mother of the contemporary women’s spirituality movement” and has published several works of poetry and fiction. These have earned her several awards, including the Native American Prize for Literature.

4) Amy Tan – San Jose City College and San Jose State University

Tan was born in Oakland, California to Chinese immigrants. Her choice of college was a source of contention with her mother, who wanted Tan to attend a Baptist school as a pre-med student. Tan decided instead to attend two AANAPISIs: San Jose City College and San Jose State University where she earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in English. Tan’s mother was a huge influence on her writing. The Kitchen God’s Wife (named Booklist Editor’s Choice) was inspired by her mother’s early life, and her most famous book, The Joy Luck Club (winner of the Bay Area Book Reviewer’s Award, among others), is a reflection of her rocky relationship with her mother.

5) Octavia Butler – California State University, Los Angeles

Butler began her academic journey at Pasadena Community College, an HSI, and eventually enrolled at California State University, Los Angeles. She went on to become one of the most well-known female science fiction writers with over 10 awards under her belt, including the MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Grant. Noting a lack of Black characters in the science fiction genre, Butler resolved to change that. “The only black people you found were occasional characters or characters who were so feeble-witted that they couldn’t manage anything, anyway,” she said. “I wrote myself in, since I’m me and I’m here and I’m writing.”

6) Gary Soto – Fresno City College and California State University, Fresno

This Mexican-American author’s academic career was shaped by his attendance at two Hispanic Serving Institutions—Fresno City College and California State University, Fresno. Soto graduated in 1974 with a B.A. in English and is known for both his poetry and fiction. In 1999, he received the Literature Award from the Hispanic Heritage Foundation.

7) Janet Campbell Hale – City College of San Francisco

As a Native American writer, Hale’s works discuss issues of poverty, abuse, and women in Native American culture. Hale began her academic journey at the City College of San Francisco and has received several fellowships. Her book The Jailing of Cecelia Capture received a Pulitzer Prize nomination in 1985.

8) Ralph Ellison – Tuskegee University

Ralph Ellison attended Tuskegee University (known then as Tuskegee Institute) to study music in 1933, but the Great Depression rendered him unable to afford the tuition for his senior year. He then began writing a series of essays and shorts stories and eventually made a name for himself as an influential twentieth century African American author. In 1953, he won the National Book Award for his novel Invisible Man, which addresses issues of racial identity for African Americans in the mid-twentieth century.

9) Ana Ludia Vega – University of Puerto Rico

“I believe that everything we are affects our writing. My being Puerto Rican shows up in my writing,” says Ana Ludia Vega, a distinguished Puerto Rican writer who graduated from the University of Puerto Rico and writes in her native language. Vega has been recognized nationally and internationally for her work.