Closing the attainment gap among minority communities in one of the goals for the state’s Forward Together Initiative. Educational, business and political leaders discussed the initiative earlier this week. South Central College President Annette Parker sees her institution playing a key role.

“Approximately one in four of students are students of color,” said Parker. “And we know demographics suggest those totals will increase. So we have to make sure they’re successful and that will be key to economic and social success in Minnesota moving forward.”

Parker says between 85 to 90 percent of their students stay in the region so they take their role in the initiative very seriously. The overall goal of the program is 70 percent of Minnesotans age 25 to 44 have some sort of post-secondary educational credential by 2025.