Emerging Leaders of Color

Emerging Leaders of Color (ELOC) is a free 8-month pathway program for underrepresented high school students, introducing them to:

  • Business classes, faculty, and career options
  • Professional development
  • Networking with professionals from the Twin Cities corporate community
  • Mentorship from a current Carlson School student
  • College preparation activities*

*Participation in ELOC does not guarantee admission to the University of Minnesota

2021-2022 Program Dates

Monthly Saturdays from 9:00am-2:00pm

  • September 17, 2022
  • October 8, 2022
  • November 5, 2022
  • December 3, 2022
  • January 28, 2023
  • February 25, 2023
  • March 25, 2023
  • April 22, 2023

Students admitted to the program are expected to attend all monthly Saturday sessions.

Program Eligibility

  • High school students who will be a freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior during the upcoming academic year.
  • A demonstrated interest to learn about business.
  • A 3.0 GPA is preferred but not required (students with a GPA lower than 3.0 should have a demonstrated upward grade trend).
  • This program is for self-identified indigenous students and students of color.

How to apply

The ELOC application process is completely online, please contact the program coordinator if you would like alternative accommodations. The online application includes:

  • Applicant background and contact information
  • An activities journal and up to 4 short essays
  • Self-reported GPA

Admission to the program is determined by the strength of the overall applications. Items considered include: leadership activities, community engagement, short essays, GPA, and overall interest in the field of business.


Apply for the 2022-2023 cohort by June 3, 2022

Apply Today

Emerging Leaders of Color Program Growing

Nearly 100 students have taken part in the program to date, growing from 36 students in its first year to 59 this year. At least one student from almost 40 high schools across the state have participated. Nearly 6 in 10 ELOC participants are high school seniors. Through ELOC college preparation, the students have been strong candidates for admission to several U of M colleges, including the Carlson School. This year, 28 seniors were admitted to U of M colleges and schools, including 8 to the Carlson School.  

ELOC Mentor

The activities we did today had a good balance. The speakers brought attention and new insight to very good information and important issues that are existing currently in our country's business industry. We also had time to work alone and with each other and have some fun.

– 2019-2020 participant

ELOC has given me the opportunity to be a part of something greater than myself. By providing encouragement and support, I have personally seen the power of students who share similar backgrounds to mine talk about their experience in a space dominated by people who look nothing like them. With my involvement in ELOC, I am helping to create a space for the next generation of leaders to succeed.

– 2019-2020 Carlson School Current Student Mentor

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Participation in ELOC does not guarantee admission to the University of Minnesota.

Students are encouraged to use public transportation or personal transportation to get to campus. Transportation reimbursement is considered on a case-by-case basis.

Students are encouraged to reapply for admission every year they are eligible. For example, if a student participates as a sophomore, they are encouraged to apply to participate for their junior year and again for their senior year. Each year, students will have the opportunity to attend college preparation sessions designed specifically for their class standing (i.e. sophomore, junior, or senior).

ELOC partner group photo

Become an Emerging Leaders of Color program partner

The success of this program lies in the engagement from local businesses, business owners, and local professionals to provide a small amount of time and experience. Through keynote or workshop, you can open the door to future business careers for these students.

Some examples of past program partners:

U.S. Bank


Carmichael Lynch

Minnesota Business Venture

Geida Cleveland

Questions or Accommodations?

Geida Cleveland

Assistant Director of Diversity & Inclusion & ELOC Program Coordinator



2019-2020 Cohort Profile


Total students


First-generation students


Admitted to U of M-Twin Cities for Fall 2020


Confirmed enrollment at U of M (including 2 to Carlson School)

2020-2021 Cohort Profile


Total students


First-generation students


Returners from 2019-20 cohort


Admitted to U of M-Twin Cities for Fall 2021

Learn more about ELOC

Download a PDF report to learn more about the ELOC program and its first two cohorts. See a full profile on where students are coming from in the Twin Cities metro, as well as grade, gender, and race/ethnicity breakdowns.

Download ELOC Program PDF