Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence

Explore all MCAE has to offer, right where you live.


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The Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence (MCAE) invites incoming first-year students who are first-generation, Native American and/or students of color to live in a close knit and dynamic community with peers committed to academic success at the University of Minnesota.

In alignment with the MCAE Holistic Support Model, we have four educational support priorities for the MCAE LLC residents: sense of belonging, self-efficacy, academic support, and navigating a predominantly white institution (PWI).

Choose Your Experience

Five identity-based communities and one community dedicated to serving first-generation college students come together to form the MCAE Living Learning Community:

This community is open to first-year residents.

This experience provides an opportunity for students to engage within their respective identity-based communities, while also coming together as a collective to engage in cross-cultural leadership development opportunities, critical conversation, and intentional academic support coming directly from MCAE’s services.

We acknowledge that MCAE LLC residents hold diverse identities and their lived experiences exist beyond the walls of the university. We support students as a whole as they navigate their academic lives at the University of Minnesota.


This LLC is located in Pioneer Hall, in double rooms, and is limited to the first 80 students who apply.


Dr. Fernando Rodriguez
Director of the Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence
Email: [email protected]

Daniel Morales Morales
Sr. Coordinator for In-Class Experience and Signature Events
Email: [email protected]

Additional Information


Programming is sponsored and organized in connection with the Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence and Community Advisors on the floor who are excited about enhancing your living experience.

  • Individualized academic coaching and holistic support from MCAE staff
  • Academic grade checks at the midpoint and end of each semester
  • Wellbeing programming including MCAE group fitness classes and stress management
  • On-going social and community-based events, and regular study nights with MCAE peer tutors
  • MCAE LLC Alumni Engagement
  • Intentional connections with various on-campus resources


Students who select the MCAE Living Learn Community on their housing application will receive a follow-up email with additional application details and next steps. Interested students should consider the following requirements:

  • Must be a first-year student 
  • Must share an identity as a first-generation college student, American Indian, and/or a student of color
  • Must submit a completed MCAE LLC application
  • Must attend the MCAE Kick Off or Pre-Kick Off prior to the start of the academic year
  • Must commit to participate in academic coaching and holistic support from MCAE staff
  • Must commit to attending regular community meetings and events
  • Must live on campus for the entire duration of the academic year (fall and spring)
  • Must be fully present at MCAE LLC events, remain open to new ideas and experiences, and make an effort to get to know other members of the MCAE LLC community


Students selected to participate in MCAE’s Living Learning Community will be assigned a roommate. Roommate requests are not accepted.

Most students are housed with a roommate participating in MCAE’s Living Learning Community. Roommate matches are NOT specific to individual communities within the LLC. For example, you can participate in the Huntley House experience and have a roommate participating in CASA SOL.

Second-Year Internships

Students who participate in one of the MCAE Living Learning Communities will be eligible to apply for one of MCAE’s second-year LLC Student Internships.

The application process to become an intern begins in the spring semester of your first or freshman year. Your level of participation in the MCAE LLCs may serve as part of the criteria for being selected as an intern.