Close the Gap: A Community Guide

STORY: Immersive Education

This story focuses on the Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs (HECUA), and MUST (Metro-Urban Studies Term), one of their successful initiatives. MUST provides a unique hands-on field experience, where students spend a "Day in the Life" of underprivileged people and learn how to overcome the challenges facing these individuals. As a result, the students are better equipped to take action on their own behalf and on the behalf of others to bring about positive change in their communities.

Discussion Questions

  1. What kind of experiences does HECUA seek to provide to make students "complete citizens"?
  2. What is unique about MUST?
  3. What challenges and issues do students learn about through the "A Day in the Life" project?
  4. What were students' reactions to the challenges they encountered?
  5. Why is it important for students from privileged backgrounds to see firsthand how underprivileged people live?
  6. Did you or would you have liked to have similar experiences as a part of your learning?
  7. With what project would you like to be involved?
  8. After students complete their coursework with HECUA, what do you think they should do next?
  9. How can Human Rights Commissions, non-profit, and other community-based organization participate in providing immersive education for Minnesota students?
Ideas for Action

"Day in the Life" project
Invite participants to partner with local non-profit organizations and government services to create their own Day in the Life project to address issues of poverty, homelessness, etc. in their communities.

Intern & Volunteer
Invite participants to explore volunteer opportunities in the Twin Cities.

The Volunteer Match website provides a list of volunteer opportunities in the Twin Cities:

Hunger Solutions Minnesota provides a list of opportunities to volunteer to help end hunger in Minnesota: