We are part of Student Affairs at Illinois.

The Office of Minority Student Affairs is a part of Student Affairs at the University of Illinois. From outside the classroom learning experiences, to physical and emotional wellness, leadership opportunities, global awareness, safety, fun, and career preparation, Student Affairs supports all aspects of student life at Illinois.

Vision

OMSA's vision is to become the campus leader and national trailblazer in transforming the lives of first generation, low-income, and historically underrepresented students.

Misson

OMSA's mission is to provide exceptional support services that enhance the academic achievement, personal development, and graduation rates of first generation, low-income, and historically underrepresented students at Illinois.

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We are informed by our History.

Body

The Office of Minority Student Affairs (OMSA) is one of the oldest and most comprehensive support programs in the nation. OMSA began, as the Special Educational Opportunity Program in the late 1960s to serve a newly admitted cohort of underrepresented students, now, known as "Project 500". Under pressure from student and community activists alike, the University of Illinois implemented Project 500 in 1968. Nearly 600 first-generation, low-income, and historically underrepresented students enrolled under the project’s auspices. After the success of Project 500, the university continued admitting underrepresented students, and OMSA continued providing those students the resources they needed for success.

In this way, OMSA has embodied Illinois’ land grant mission by championing access for all students and providing a comprehensive array of college preparatory and support services to bolster students’ success. Over the years, OMSA has served historically minoritized and marginalized students from across the country. OMSA works diligently to advocate for diversity, inclusion, and the establishment of a safe and welcoming community for all.

Although the campus has changed dramatically over the last 50 years, OMSA’s commitment to providing high-quality mentoring and academic support services to underrepresented students has endured. Today, the OMSA coordinates more than a dozen programs and services to improve the academic outcomes for students admitted via the Educational Opportunity Programs (EOP), the President’s Awards Program (PAP), and students from historically underrepresented, first-generation, and economically disadvantaged communities.

Strategic Goals

  1. Provide exceptional academic mentoring, advocacy, and support services for first generation, low-income, and historically underrepresented undergraduate students that bolsters their success and eases their adjustment to the rigor of college.
  2. Support the recruitment and yielding activities for first-generation, low-income, and historically underrepresented students at Illinois (i.e., African American, Latinx, Native American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Island students).
  3. Collaborate with colleagues in Academic and Student Affairs to create safe and welcoming environments that encourage academic success, personal growth, collegiate persistence and graduation.

Metrics for OMSA’s Strategic Goals include sustained assessment in the following areas:

  1. Retention rates
  2. Graduation rates
  3. Learning Outcomes
  4. Student satisfaction