Do you know that feeling of deep regret when it’s your last day of school and you learn about this cool program that you never knew existed? Yeah, that’s what an alumnus told me when he came back to school for a student panel. He told me, “I always passed by this room, but I never knew what it was until a friend told me a while ago. Ugh!” and he regrets it so much because he could have made so many friends there. And what is this place, you ask? It’s MCAE! Moral of the story? Explore the campus. Check out MCAE. And you will have no regrets.

What is MCAE?

The Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence (MCAE) is an academic support resource on campus that assists students in the following ways: 

  • Academic tutoring: MCAE provides tutoring in Biology, Business,  Chemistry, Economics, Math, Physics, Public Speaking, and Statistics. 
  • Writing support: Students who struggle with writing can seek one-on-one help with a writing consultant. 
  •  Language support: For students who are studying Korean, Chinese, or Spanish, MCAE is the place to go. 
  •  Free printing: Yep. Students who sign up for the MCAE newsletter receive $20 of free printing each semester. 
  •  Prayer space: One of the most unique things about MCAE. If you need some privacy for praying, please don’t hesitate to check out this area.
  • and many more!

If you are interested in learning more, go here!

MCAE’s mission states that “The Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence is an academic support office that centers students of color and students from historically underrepresented and marginalized backgrounds in the pursuit of their academic achievements.” 

Although MCAE’s priority is to assist students of color and underrepresented students, everyone is open to join MCAE and to utilize its resources and space. Overall, MCAE wants to foster a community of belonging and support for students and help them realize their identities matter. 

What Can Students Do at MCAE?

MCAE has two locations: Appleby Hall, which is located on the Minneapolis campus and the St. Paul Student Center, which is located on the St. Paul campus. MCAE is a physical space with study rooms, tutoring rooms, staff offices, a lounge, and a kitchen. Aiming at building a safe space for all students, especially underrepresented students, MCAE encourages students to utilize its resources. 

How Do Students Know About MCAE?

MCAE runs a program called the MCAE Kick-off, which is the multicultural welcome week for students of color. Basically, students sign up to be a part of MCAE Kick-off and they explore campus with an upperclassman student (FYI, these are student volunteers). The Kick-off is a three-day event that occurs before welcome week. Incoming students will have the chance to get to know the campus, meet new people, learn about what MCAE is, and sign up to join student groups (usually 80 or more students groups sign up to be at this event).

MCAE, A Lasting Impression

Even if you are a student who has never used MCAE before, have been using MCAE, or simply heard about it through word of mouth only, MCAE wants to let students know that it is a safe space—it is a home away from home. It is a program that will enrich and support you through your future endeavors here at the U. And that MCAE is a place where you belong

As an underrepresented student, I really appreciate the close touch that MCAE has always possessed. From the staff to the events that are held each year, MCAE has shown time and time again that it really cares for its students. Did you know? Every year, MCAE invites graduating seniors to an event called the Celebration of Achievements. Just this May, I go to walk across the stage and received a colorful, personalized MCAE stole. But the most amazing part for me was seeing the array of beautiful outfits that students wore to represent their culture. MCAE exists to serve students of color and I must say, it’s really doing a great job. If your school has an MCAE, definitely check it out because it will make your undergrad experience much more enjoyable.