Black and Latino males start community college with lofty goals, but few achieve their dreams, reports Aspirations to Achievement. Black and Latino males are less prepared for college-level work than their classmates, the Center for Community College Student Engagement report found. They also face stereotyping that can undercut their confidence.
Eighty-seven percent of black and Latino males enrolled at community college are seeking an associate degree, compared to 80 percent of white males. Within three years, 37 percent of white men — but only five percent of black and Latino men — have completed a degree.
It’s not that black and Latino males aren’t trying. Compared to white males with similar GPAs, they are less likely to skip class and more likely to use tutoring, computer labs and study skills courses. They sign up for orientation, learning communities and first-year experience programs. But it’s not enough.
Helping students build relationships with mentors can increase persistence, the report stated. For example, Jackson College in Michigan raised the retention rate for black males through an intensive mentoring program called Men of Merit. At most North Carolina community colleges the Minority Male Mentoring Program, which provides academic advising, study skills courses and service learning opportunities, has raised retention rates.
Improving remedial education also can help minority males succeed. Austin Community College in Texas created Developing Mathematical Thinking to prepare students for college math or statistics. The course “emphasizes math skills that students will use in the future and increases their confidence.” Success rates increased dramatically for all students.