Community colleges are developing programs to recruit and retain black men, reports the Chronicle of Higher Education. At the American Association of Community Colleges meeting in San Francisco, Marilyn Riley described Mesa Community College‘s summer program for high school students.
To help familiarize students with support services like advising and tutoring, groups of students are sent off with a list of a half-dozen offices with instructions to interview someone there and report back to the class.
. . . Students take two required courses during the summer, each of which earns them three college credits. One covers basic college-success skills, like time management and study techniques.
About half the participants end up enrolling at the Arizona community college.
“African-American Pride and Awareness” tries to persuade black males they belong on campus and “can control their own destiny,” said Karen Hardin, chair of the counseling department. Successful graduates are recruited as peer mentors.
LaTonya Jones, a student adviser at Houston Community College, described its community-service and bonding activities for black men. On Chivalry Day, Men of Honor participants tutor local schoolchildren, wear their club shirts and ties and pass out carnations to women. Jones is working on a plan to gear college classes to the needs of black men.
An economics class, for instance, might cover financial planning for black men, while a history or English class would encompass black history and literature.
“If we can get them through the core,” she said, “they’ll graduate.”
Black men often lack the confidence to speak up in class, said San Diego State Professor J. Luke Wood, who runs the Minority Male Community College Collaborative. In addition, “a lot of men are reluctant to ask for help because it makes them look weak,” he said.
AACC lists 77 minority-male success programs on its Web site, but Wood estimates there are 70 more.