Program Launched to Help Minority Men Succeed in College
Brandon Gibson has many strong male role models in his life. His father, his uncles and others have helped to shape his beliefs and character. “I have a lot of men who taught me the do’s and don’ts of life,” he says. “My uncle has guided me and taught me how to carry myself. My dad taught me a lot about finances. I feel like it’s put me ahead of my peers.”
The Plantation resident is getting his associate’s degree in Information Technology at Broward College. The 19-year-old wants to share his life’s positive experiences and knowledge by mentoring younger black men. “I don’t believe in keeping knowledge to myself. I want younger men to excel and go further.”
Gibson is participating in the Minority Male Initiative at Broward College. The program seeks to address equity by closing achievement gaps and providing sustained support for underserved students. Despite having college and career aspirations equal to those of their white counterparts, research studies show nationwide, many young men of color face significant barriers in attaining these academic and professional goals.
In 2017, Broward College ranked second in the nation for the number of associate degrees conferred to African Americans and fifth in the nation for the number of associate degrees conferred to Hispanic students. ‘We are very proud of the success that Broward College has regarding minority males,” says Dr. Thomas Walker, associate dean Academic Affairs. “We understand we must continue to support these students to attain their associate degrees.”
The Minority Male Initiative aligns with the latest strategic plan released by the College in 2017, specifically the area of “Succeed which includes the use of different strategies to ultimately improve student success.
There are four key strategies for supporting the minority male initiative:
- Professional development and training for the faculty and staff to increase learning, improve communication, and cultural sensitivity awareness.
- Develop a pipeline of minority males who will choose Broward College for their post-secondary education
- Promote career exploration, resilience, and success.
- Use mentorship to improve minority males’ sense of academic and social integration at Broward College
Special Events and Activities
On February 6, at 12:30 pm a professional development series highlighting evidence-based strategies to improve outcomes for the underserved population in community colleges will be held on Central Campus in Building 1008, Room 105.
“We have national presenters attending that deal with men of color in community colleges,” says Dr. Walker. “There will be a track for faculty as well as a track for our colleagues in student services.” This series features four 75-minute workshops:
- Men of Color in Community Colleges: An Overview of Research and Trends
- Unconscious Bias
- Teaching Men of Color in Community Colleges
- Counseling and Advising Men of Color in Community Colleges
Register online – BCMMI.EVENTBRITE.COM
Future Leaders Success Conference
On Saturday, April 14 Junior Achievement hosts a Future Leaders Success Conference. The goal is to give high school and college minority male students skills that will help their academic and personal success. The annual event brings together community stakeholders with the common goal of improving minority male outcomes. This year, the conference will feature Dr. Marc Lamont Hill.
This summer, Broward College, in partnership with Broward County Public School’s Mentoring Tomorrow’s Leaders and the 5000 Role Models of Excellence program, hosts a three-week leadership institute for 40 high school minority male students (grades 10-12). Students will participate in a summer experience that will prepare them for education and life success. They will also have the opportunity to earn three college credits.
There is another component to involve members of the community. “We will have leadership lunches with executives,” says Dr. Walker. “We added this after some of our participants said they don’t see men like them in positions of power.” For all involved, it’s an opportunity to teach and learn simultaneously.”
For more information or to participate in the program, contact Dr. Thomas Walker, interim associate dean, Academic Affairs – email@example.com
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