EDTalks - PSEO: A Powerful Tool for Closing Equity Gaps and Reducing Student Debt

RSVP for our January 10 EDTalks with PSEO advocates Maria Wright, Asiya Browne and Zeke Jackson

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Event details

Wed. January 19 2022
7-8 p.m.
This is a virtual event!
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Details on how to access this online event will be included in your registration confirmation email.


Join us to learn how PSEO can dramatically change the trajectory of a student's life and contribute to increased equity in education.


PSEO As a Bridge from High School to College

Postsecondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) – also known as dual enrollment – provides an affordable way for high school students to experience college and earn college credit by completing courses at eligible postsecondary institutions. PSEO has grown rapidly in Minnesota over the past twenty years, but there are wide gaps in participation between white students and students of color, English language learners and low-income students. Maria Wright will draw on her experience as a PSEO participant and higher education leader to discuss the great benefits of PSEO and how it can help close education equity gaps by providing a bridge between high school and postsecondary education. As an advocate for young scholars, she argues that we must challenge current paradigms around PSEO, particularly the way it is funded.

Presenter: Maria Wright is director of dual enrollment at St. Cloud State University. A former PSEO participant at South High School, she’s passionate about increasing postsecondary education access for students of color, students from lower socioeconomic status and first-generation college students. Maria has also worked as assistant registrar at Troy University in Alabama and in various roles at the University of Minnesota’s College in the Schools concurrent enrollment program. She earned her MBA at Augsburg University and is currently completing a doctoral program in higher education at St. Cloud State University.


How PSEO is a Game-Changer for High School Students

As high school students, Asiya Browne and Zeke Jackson participated in PSEO, taking college classes and earning credit at no cost. Now both are University of Minnesota students and leaders in People for PSEO, a nonprofit that works to increase visibility about the many benefits of PSEO and increase participation, particularly by students of color. Asiya and Zeke believe that PSEO is a powerful tool that can help break cycles of poverty, close education disparity gaps and reduce student debt. They will share their personal experiences of PSEO, how the program helped them find their voice and become more confident advocates, and the importance of lowering barriers to access PSEO and ensure that students succeed while they are in the program.


Asiya Browne is a sophomore at the University of Minnesota, where she’s studying sociology of law, criminology and deviance, and Asian and Middle Eastern studies with a focus in Arabic. She serves on the board of People for PSEO, where she works to connect more students to PSEO through outreach and policy work.

Zeke Jackson is a junior at the University of Minnesota, majoring in finance and political science. He serves as executive director of People for PSEO, working hard to inform families about PSEO, lower barriers to PSEO enrollment, advocate for strong PSEO policies and build a statewide PSEO community.

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EDTalks is presented by AchieveMpls in partnership with the Citizens League

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