ST. PAUL – This week, the House Higher Education Finance and Policy Committee discussed a pair of bills authored by Rep. Ginny Klevorn (DFL-Plymouth) to provide greater mental health and academic support for college students.
On Tuesday, Rep. Klevorn, a member of the House Higher Education Committee, presented her bill to committee members to require Minnesota state colleges to employ at least one full-time counselor for every 750 enrolled students.
“COVID-19 has exacerbated the mental health crisis in Minnesota that existed long before the pandemic,” said Rep. Klevorn. “Our students are asking for help with resources to cope so they can thrive on and off campus.”
Legislators received compelling testimony in support of legislation, including from Axel Kylander, a current student attending Anoka-Ramsey Community College who relied heavily on mental health support after losing his mother to cancer.
Today, the committee discussed Rep. Klevorn’s legislation to create an Inclusive Higher Education Technical Assistance Center within the Office of Higher Education (OHE). The center’s primary mission would be to increase access to higher education for students with intellectual disabilities. The bill also creates a grant program to assist higher education institutions with creating or expanding postsecondary programs for students with intellectual disabilities.
“Every Minnesotan deserves the opportunity to earn a post-secondary degree and to achieve their hopes and dreams,” Rep. Klevorn continued. “We want to make sure our all of our students can thrive in their careers.”
This bill provides investments to create an inclusive campus environment where students with intellectual disabilities can have learning opportunities alongside other students on Minnesota college campuses.
The bills are being considered for possible inclusion in a larger Higher Education package of legislation. Materials from the committee hearing can be found on the committee website.