SMART Start Program

SMART Start (Student Mentoring Academic Resource Team) is a program for motivated students who are ready to work hard to be successful in college.  Participants engage in a community that supports first year students’ transition to life at MSUM. Historically, after participating in SMART Start, students outperform their peers in all subject areas and become leaders on the MSUM campus.  If you express one of the identities below and are excited to join a community that will ease your transition to college, then SMART Start is the place for you.

  • Black or African American
  • Asian
  • American Indian or Alaska Native
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander
  • First Generation College Student
  • Pell-eligible
  • LGBTQ12A+

*Please refer to Minnesota State Terms of Equity and Inclusion for further guidance on the terms above.

What is SMART Start?

Frequently Asked Questions about SMART Start

By participating in SMART Start, students will:

  • Build community in an environment that fosters belonging.
  • Create a support network of peers, staff, faculty and community members.
  • Develop social-emotional skills and academic learning strategies.
  • Identify resources to meet and support student needs.

Being a part of SMART Start comes at no additional cost to the students! All costs of the early arrival, which includes activities, meals, and moving into the dorms early, are covered by MSUM.

  • Arrive August 18
  • Attend and engage in all program events August 18 – August 21
  • Enrollment in Math 101 OR English 101
  • Create a community and sense of belonging
  • Meet other new students
  • Participate in social and academic activities led by peer mentors
  • Connect with campus resources and supports
  • It allows them to start connections with peers early, have a better understanding of their classes and schedule, and grow a support system early on.
  • SMART Start truly values making MSUM feel like home to those that may feel like outsiders.
  • I met my best friend through SMART Start.
  • SMART Start students take either MATH 101 or ENGL 101 their first semester depending on their major.
  • MATH 101 is taken in conjunction with a student’s required math course and provides a support system that improves success in math courses of all levels.
  • ENGL 101 is an introduction to writing course that all MSUM students are required to take.
  • These sections of MATH 101 and ENGL 101 are restricted to SMART Start students.

For more information about SMART Start contact

Zinnia Marquette (She/Her/Hers)
Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator
Diversity & Inclusion Office
Send Email | Phone: 218.477.2476218.477.2476
CU 120D

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