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Minority Serving Institutions

Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) were established in response to historical racial and ethnic inequality in access to higher education. With their long history of educating and investing in underrepresented students, MSIs are well positioned to foster career opportunities in agriculture, natural resources, and related sciences disciplines.

Importance of Minority Serving Institutions

Access to education in agriculture and related sciences sets a foundation for greater agricultural stability in the United States. However, minority serving institutions have found it an ongoing challenge to recruit students and provide them with a full range of courses in agricultural sciences. MSIs are currently working to:

  • Advance cultural diversity in the food and agricultural workforce
  • Attract and educate students from underrepresented groups
  • Strengthen linkages among the 1890 institutions, other colleges and universities, the USDA and other federal agencies, and private industry.

NIFA’s Impact

NIFA programs are helping MSIs to:

  • Strengthen education, extension and research capacity
  • Increase student recruitment and retention
  • Establish partnerships between with government and/or private sector organizations
  • Promote equity in access to extension programs
  • Conduct outreach to diverse communities

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