Common Ground Consortium

The Common Ground Consortium (CGC) is a program that develops proactive and collaborative Black intellectual leaders of education and human development whose focus is to impact and transform the university, greater communities, and world.

The CGC supports 8-10 Black graduate students per year in their full-time studies in the college. The CGC supports educators training to become future tenure-track faculty as well as practitioner-scholars in many fields of education and human development.

Students in the Common Ground Consortium meet as an interdisciplinary cohort to develop ongoing program opportunities. Although the primary focus of the CGC is scholarly and professional development, the CGC scholars find the program a source of personal support as well.

Join the CGC

Your application for the CGC fellowship is a part of your application to a graduate program, and is submitted with your materials. See your program page for more information about CGC application requirements. CGC offers are made in March, after Department/program admission decisions. Please note: The current application cycle is closed.

About the CGC

The CGC was created in 1989 to honor the heritage of increased access the University of Minnesota shares with many Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) as land grant colleges. The CGC originally linked 10 HBCUs with the University of Minnesota to provide support to HBCU alumni pursuing graduate degrees in the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD). We are re-establishing those original commitments to HBCUs to honor the original intent of CGC to create pathways for HBCU graduates, increasing access to students who may have otherwise not considered graduate and professional education.

Program Benefits

  • Guaranteed Research Assistant or Teaching Assistant funding for graduate study (8 semesters for PhD students, 4 semesters for Masters students, 10 semesters for those pursuing both degrees in CEHD). These positions are for 20 hours per week, and include full-time tuition benefits and fully subsidized individual health insurance, in addition to an hourly wage.
  • Faculty mentor for each student (may or may not be dissertation advisor)
  • Funding to present at national and international conferences
  • Bi-monthly cohort meetings for academic and professional development
  • Alumni networking opportunities for academic and professional growth

Contact Us

For more information about the CGC, contact Nicola Alexander, Interim Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education, Diversity, and International Initiatives, at