American industries, professional organizations, individual companies, and higher education institutions continue to struggle to attract employees from underrepresented populations. Future-forward thinking is required to ensure a multicultural workforce. The authors, a design educator at a predominantly white, Midwestern university, and a high school principal at a multicultural urban school district, developed an intentional collaboration—partnerships between secondary and postsecondary institutions—to bridge the gap. In this article, they share strategies they developed for recruiting and retaining underrepresented students through intentional planning and design of competency-based, personalized learning models.
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