MSA Education, Initiatives, Programs, and Training
MSA is committed to academic achievement and retention; Graduation is the primary goal. The MSA Scholars Recognition Program, the S.E.T. (Seeking Excellence Together) Study Incentive Program, The Learning Tree Book Exchange and Harambee (Let's Pull Together) Book Scholarships focus on motivating students to strive for excellence in their academic pursuits. All the programs in MSA are designed to promote academic success. Our mission is to support the academic vision of the institution; to encourage students to Strive to be the Best (scholar); Strive to be ahead of all the rest (be academically competitive); to strive to learn, (put academics first) to strive to take their turn; (to recognize that education can and does change lives).
Leadership Development Institute
MSA builds leaders! By providing students with training and experiences from a global/multicultural perspective, MSA leaders are equip to perform on a world stage. The REAL (Rigorous Expectations of All Leaders) Institute is designed for returning students who are members of the MSA Leadership contingent and/or returning students who have expressed a desire to be a part of the institute. These students must be committed to scholarship and service. PEERS (Promoting Excellence through Establishing Relationships for Success) Institute is designed for first year students who demonstrated a commitment to self exploration, academic excellence, diversity awareness and leadership development.
Information and Referral Services
MSA is a student centered place; a place where students comes first. Providing life coaching, directing students to appropriate services, serving as a liaison and if necessary advocating for students is a critical role that MSA plays in the lives of students.
Diversity Education and Training
MSA offers a smorgasbord of programs created to promote diversity and multiculturalism. The programs include but are not limited to the Cultural Immersion Experiences, Building Bridges Classroom Initiative, In Living Color Players Diversity Performance Group, MTO, (MSA to Order), workshop development and training component; MSA staff will tailor and present diversity workshops, motivational speeches, and lectures for the campus and community at large. In addition, each student group within the MSA conducts small group activities designed to promote inclusiveness. The Student Round Tables, the Erase the Hate Rally, the Day of Silence and the Great Debate are examples of these activities.
Cultural Enrichment Programs
Campus and community wide programs that educate entertain and promote cultural awareness through utilizing food, festival and fun as a mechanism to promote interaction and understanding. Events such as the Latino Explosion, the Hip/Hop Campus Invasion, the Pride fest, the Diversity Festival, Kwanzaa, The GLBT Bend your Gender Show, the Martin Luther King March for Humanity, Soulful Saturday Black History Celebration, the Women's History Month Big Hat Brunch, the African Fair, the Asian New Year Extravaganza and the Multiethnic Student Luau are done to celebrate and acknowledge contributions of underrepresented groups as well as commemorate national occasions. The programs are free and open to the public.
Community Linkage Program /Volunteer Initiative
Each One, Reach One, Teach One is a hallmark of the MSA. Avenues are provided for students to become involved in service learning opportunities that promote community/global awareness and involvement as well as provide practical experiences working in diverse environments. The goal is to assist students in becoming workers in a global market place. MSA links with individuals and organizations both on and off campus that serve as a support system for students. Projects include but are not limited to the African American Youth Summit, the Latino Youth Summit, and the BROTHERS, (Building Character, Retaining Men, Opening Minds, Teaching Tolerance, Helping Up, Empowering Lives) Youth Summit: It Was All a Dream, and the Saving our Sisters Young Women Project. The Haiti Project, Roots African Village Project, The New Orleans Habitat for Humanity Project, the Bahamas Paradise Project, the Parent Partnership Program, Disciple It Gospel Outreach Program, the STEP (Striving to Educate People Program) and the Oye tutoring initiatives, the Carlisle Victory Circle Program and the Harrisburg Gear-Up Program are all service learning opportunities for students. MSA also links with a myriad of campus programs such as the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Program, the R. Benjamin Wiley Pittsburgh Partnership Program, and the Academic Success Program.