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March 27, 2013 University of Central Arkansas 1. Dr. Michael J. Cuyjet University of Louisville 2.

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Presentation on theme: "March 27, 2013 University of Central Arkansas 1. Dr. Michael J. Cuyjet University of Louisville 2."— Presentation transcript:

1 March 27, 2013 University of Central Arkansas 1

2 Dr. Michael J. Cuyjet University of Louisville 2

3 Abstract This session will explore interventions and programs that can enhance the retention of African American male college students, using the themes presented in the book, African American Men in College, as a structural guide. Interventions can include such things as encouraging participation in extracurricular activities, developing communication and leadership skills, forming and maintaining peer support groups, and examining the role of spirituality in improving college success. Inferences of these suggestions that can apply to other first generation students will also be drawn. 3

4 Today’s anticipated outcome The goal is for symposium participants to engage in serious thinking about what factors at their institutions prevent Black male students from degree completion and social success, a well as what factors within the institution promote degree completion and student success; and then to commit to acting on those considerations. To the extent these factors are applicable to other first generation students, we can consider how to apply interventions to assist that population as well. 4

5 Presentation Overview Brief overview of demographic data on African American men (and others) Review of themes and interventions suggested by research featured in the book, African American Men in College Draw analogies between Black male students’ issues and first generation male students’ issues Exploration of potential initiatives at individual institutions 5

6 Overview of Discussion Themes Overview of Research-based Issues/Ideas How African American College Men and Women Differ Enhancing the Academic Climate for African American Men The Impact of Campus Activities on African American College Men Enhancing African American Male Student Outcomes Through Leadership and Active Involvement Developmental Mentoring of African American College Men 6

7 Overview of Discussion Themes Overview of Issues and Ideas, con’d The Role of Spirituality and Religion in the Experiences of African American College Students The Role of Black Fraternities in the African American Male Undergraduate Experience African American Male College Athletes African American Gay Men African American Men at Community Colleges African American Men at Historically Black Colleges and Universities 7

8 Three Possible Action Items What assessment data do I need to assemble in order to understand the issues more fully? What actions can I attempt to do directly? What inform do I need to get to other collaborators and allies about what they might do? 8

9 Differences between African American Men and Women Basic Numerical Imbalances Recognizing Differences & Effects “Invisibility” Factors 9

10 Imbalanced from the start “The Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University examined the Boston Public Schools and found that for the graduating class of 2007, there were 191 Black girls for every 100 boys going on to attend a four-year college or university. Among Hispanics, the ratio was 175 girls for every 100 boys; among Whites, 153 for every 100” (p. 7). Sommers, C. H. (February 3, 2013). The boys at the back. New York Times, 162, Sunday Review pp. 1,

11 Demographic Imbalances College Enrollment by Ethnicity & Gender Federal Ethnic groupingsMen Women American Indian39.3%60.7% Asian46.0%54.0% Black34.9%65.1% Hispanic41.2%58.8% White43.6%56.4% Non-resident Alien53.0%47.0% (Chronicle of Higher Education, 2008; Census data 2006) While numbers of Black men increased over recent past years, the percentage has actually decreased slightly. 11

12 Demographic Imbalances Bachelors Degrees Conferred by Ethnicity & Gender Federal Ethnic groupingsMen Women American Indian38.4%61.6% Asian44.7%55.3% Black33.8%66.2% Hispanic33.8%66.2% White43.5%56.5% Non-res Alien50.1%49.9% (Chronicle of Higher Education, 2008; Academic year 2006) 12

13 Demographic Imbalances Master’s Degrees Conferred by Ethnicity & Gender Federal Ethnic groupingsMen Women American Indian35.5%64.5% Asian46.4%53.6% Black28.8%71.2% Hispanic35.9%64.1% White38.4%61.6% Non-res Alien57.6%42.4% (Chronicle of Higher Education, 2008; Academic year 2006) 13

14 Demographic Imbalances 6-Year Public Graduation Rates: Ethnicity & Gender Federal Ethnic groupingsMen Women American Indian31.4%37.6% Asian58.9%67.0% Black32.5%43.4% Hispanic38.4%46.5% White52.6%58.9% Race unknown48.5%54.6% Non-res Alien50.2%55.6% (Chronicle of Higher Education, 2008; Freshmen) 14

15 Recognizing Differences & Effects Impact of skewed ratios on male-female relationships on Black-White relationships on post-college relationships (e.g. with college-educated women; and as potential role models and mentors of young men) Interaction on campus is necessary to challenge stereotype perceptions Lower numbers contribute to “invisibility” of African American Men 15

16 “Invisibility” Factors Aggregation of data collecting and reporting: higher performers “mask” lower performers account for Black men separately from Black women Assume Black male acculturation to the dominant culture: recognize varying levels of willingness and abilities to acculturate (fear of assimilation?) legitimacy of Black male culture (cool pose, hip-hop) 16

17 “Invisibility” Factors Failure to recognize heterogeneity within the Black male population and Black male culture – consider the variety of backgrounds and various community characteristics from which Black men come to the campus Urban/suburban environments Socioeconomic backgrounds Prior acculturation experiences Assigning characteristics of one sub-culture of Black men to all Black men (athletes, fraternity members) 17

18 Recognizing Differences & Effects Recognize that Black men and Black women behave differently (e.g., review CSEQ data) Academic skills behaviors Academic study & research habits Interpersonal interactions with peers Co-curricular affiliations Use of campus facilities (e.g., library vs. recreation) So, research and data collection on African American students needs to be disaggregated by gender to obtain an accurate impression of pertinent factors 18

19 Academic Climate for Black Men Enhancing Academic Climate Five areas of influence to be utilized:  Peer group influence (positive & negative)  Family influence  Student-faculty relations, particularly with non-Black males (train the faculty)  Identity development & self esteem (overcoming internalized negative perceptions)  Perceptions of the institutional environment - how it sees them 19

20 Academic Climate for Black Men Peer group influence (positive & negative) “a key consideration is being connected to peers who will provide them with critical feedback related not only to their academic progress, but also to their nonacademic progress. These sociocultural influences are often cited as being more critical to the success of African American students in educational settings than the more intellectual pursuits traditionally highlighted” (Bonner & Bailey, 2006, pp ). 20

21 Academic Climate for Black Men “Opportunities for interaction between and among student groups are desired by virtually all students and... such opportunities also positively affect academic success” (p. 27). “One way to ensure that men are spending more of their time pursuing academic growth and less time learning interpersonal coping strategies is to form a Black male support group that functions much like a freshman seminar. If men are informed about what to expect and are able to use each other to share experiences and provide support, fewer will voluntarily leave school” (Bonner & Bailey, 2006, p. 27). 21

22 Academic Climate for Black Men Family influence and support “Research has documented the influence of family on not only the psychosocial and social development, but also the academic development of African American male college students” (p. 29). “Orientation officials at the university-wide and departmental level should promote initiatives that include family members and parents in the admission and retention process” (Bonner, 2001, p. 15). 22

23 Academic Climate for Black Men Faculty relationships Fries-Britt and Turner (2001) reported that 100 percent of the participants in a study “perceived that there was a ‘proving process’ required in the classroom setting, essentially to validate their intellectual competence” (Bonner & Bailey, 2006, p. 30). In the absence of viable African American faculty to serve as mentors and advisors to African American students, it is imperative for institutions to develop cadres of non-African American faculty to serve in these roles” (p. 31). We need to teach faculty to initiate these relationships. “Having an African American faculty mentor was less important than having a mentor in their career field. Students reasoned that they could get the cultural connection they needed outside of the university, when necessary, by simply going home” (Lee, 1999, p. 33) Dawson-Threat suggests that faculty must concern themselves with three major issues: including a safe space for expression of personal experience, facilitating and promoting the understanding of difference, and providing the opportunity to explore Black manhood issues. (Bonner & Bailey, 2006, p. 32) 23

24 Academic Climate for Black Men Lee (1999) f0und that “having an African American faculty mentor was less important than having a mentor in their career field. Students reasoned that they could get the cultural connection they needed outside of the university, when necessary, by simply going home” (p. 33). Dawson-Threat suggests that faculty must concern themselves with three major issues: including a safe space for expression of personal experience, facilitating and promoting the understanding of difference, and providing the opportunity to explore Black manhood issues. (Bonner & Bailey, 2006, p. 32) 24

25 Academic Climate for Black Men Identity development and self esteem (overcoming internalized negative perceptions) Self-esteem is linked to the concept of academic resilience. Resilient students are found to engage in behaviors that correlate with higher levels of self-esteem than those students who do not exhibit engaging behaviors “‘stereotype threat’ can trigger academic disidentification” “it is likely that ‘cool pose’ behavior is used by males to empower them in the classroom, an environment in which they are perceived by most to be powerless” (p. 34) 25

26 Academic Climate for Black Men Institutional environment (how students perceive it) Many African American men become resistant to adopting strategies that would lead to their successful matriculation. This pervasive mode of resistance is often due to the African American male’s alignment with “masculine ‘macho’ principles” that they felt were necessary to defend instances of real and perceived racism. (pp ) Need to enhance positive perceptions among African American males of how the institution sees them (“mattering”) 26

27 Campus Activities Involvement Suggested interventions:  Use a “targeted” orientation to introduce co-curricular opportunities  Teach majority students to recruit Black males  Recruit and train mentors who can promote involvement  Foster sense of community where ever possibly (maybe using intramurals/recreation)  Organize Black male peer groups 27

28 Improving Leadership & Involvement Leadership opportunity development: (Reported by highly involved Black men)  Practical leadership skills  Working with a culturally diverse population  Time management (balancing obligations)  Public speaking/interpersonal communication  Delegating tasks and responsibilities  Political astuteness from interaction with administrators and community leaders 28

29 Improving Leadership & Involvement Leadership opportunity strategies:  Have involved Black males recruit uninvolved peers  Collect data on out-of-class time of uninvolved Black men  Have other student leaders recruit Black men  Support minority organizations as training ground for leadership roles  Create support groups for Black males 29

30 Broad View of Mentoring “‘Mentor’ is a plural noun” Black males are in particular need of mentoring Co-curricular “life skills” mentoring can be just as important as academic mentoring Benefits of mentoring Potential professional role models Mentors should serve as teachers, guides, gatekeepers, consultants Model personal and educational survival skills Provide both challenge and support 30

31 Developmental Mentoring Developmental Mentoring promotes protégé’s ability to actively participate in his own development  Encourage protégé to make decisions about the mentoring relationship  Provide “developmental” training for mentors  Give financial support (mentor incentives)  Inter-campus/community communication  Affirmation and celebration 31

32 Structured Mentoring Model AMIGOS – Arranged Mentor for Instructional Guidance and Organizational (or Other) Support Mentors/protégés matched after personality type assessments Pairs engage in training and instruction Pairs engage in problem-solving activities Pairs engage in social activities (in and out of institutional environment) Stromei, L. K. (2000) Increasing Retention and Success Through Mentoring. In S. Aragon (Ed.) Beyond Access: Methods and Models for Increasing Retention and Learning Among Minority Students, (pp ). New Directions for Community Colleges, No.112. San Francisco: Jossey Bass. 32

33 Recognizing Spirituality & Religion Black college men (in Watson’s study): Use support from others to develop positive self- concepts (“External Power Reference”) Demonstrate belief in, and reliance on, a higher being Rely on “Resistant soul force” that allows them “to overcome human oppression through creating, transforming, and transcending so one’s spirit can survive and thrive” (p. 122) Watson, L. W. (2006) The role of spirituality and religion in the experiences of African American male college students. In M. J. Cuyjet & Associates, African American men in college, pp San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. 33

34 Recognizing Spirituality & Religion Black men are often deeply committed to spirituality and religion as means of coping Many (M = 3.54/4.0) indicated they “take time to meditate, pray, or sit and reflect on life experiences” Many (M = 3.16/4.0) “attend a workshop service at a church, mosque, or temple” Administrators must reflect on their own spirituality and be open to students’ other notions of spirituality 34

35 Impact of Fraternities Impacts of Fraternity Membership: Support positive outcomes:  Leadership development opportunities  Event planning/marketing experience  Cognitive development/academic success  Social support at PWIs 35

36 Impact of Fraternities Impacts of Fraternity Membership: Use productive gains and outcomes to counteract negative aspects:  Hazing  Academic mediocrity  Diminished public perception 36

37 Impact of Fraternities Practical implications for administrators: Create and maintain “open” relationships between fraternity members and campus administrators – emphasis on academics, collaborations Partner with chapter advisors and national offices Support with funding &access to campus resources 37

38 Black Male Athletes’ Issues African American Male Athletes:  Partner with coaches (show them a benefit)  Enhance academic support (overlap is okay)  Facilitate family support, but monitor community involvement  Academic and social integration with the rest of campus (particularly Black community)  Protect from negative “double stereotype” racial AND athletic  Involvement of Black men in programs (STAGS, CHAMPS) 38

39 Black Gay Men/Gay Black Men African American Gay Men  Multiple aspects of Black gay man’s identity - is he first an African American or first a gay person? (Possible need for two resources)  Likely to be ostracized in one (or both) of the two societies  Need for role models  If not on campus, then in community  If not gay, then active advocates 39

40 Black Gay Men/Gay Black Men Recognize conflicted impact of religion/church on Black gay men – strong identification with religion but high level of homophobia) Personalize homophobia among straight Black male students – would you want to harm someone you know? 40

41 Research at Community Colleges Retention Strategies for Black Males: Promote academic & social integration (conscientiously) Provide diversity training for faculty/staff Help students understand “triple consciousness” (AA/American/student) Provide enhance counseling to help student balance conflicting demands in their lives 41

42 Research at Community Colleges Retention Strategies for Black Males (con’d): Offer effective orientation that clearly defines expectations Create support groups Connect to African American males in the communities (connect school to non-school) Develop effective transfer strategies (better articulation, more mentors) 42

43 Research done at HBCUs Address lack of predisposition to and preparation for college Address academic achievement barriers HBCUs highly social Faculty expectations and support services Promote involvement & leadership Preference for athletics Reticence to join groups other than fraternities 43

44 Research done at HBCUs Program for development of better interpersonal relationships Excessive sexuality/objectification of women Understand students’ perceptions of HBCUs vs. PWIs HBCUs foster greater sense of community/”family” HBCUs provide familial/positive interaction with other African American students PWIs can try to replicate these experiences 44

45 Other Issues to Consider/Study Academic motivation (giving more that a scholarship) Gifted and talented Black male students Graduate students, & other “non-traditionals” Within group differences (if there is subgroup critical mass) Acculturation to institution & cultural support (places to find music, haircuts & apparel, proximate to campus?) 45

46 Review of Highlighted Programs Student African American Brotherhood (three-level mentoring, positive self-image) Meyerhoff Scholarship Program, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (comprehensive supports, well-funded) The Black Man on Campus, Bowling Green State University (focused campus orientation course, individual mentors) 46

47 Review of Highlighted Programs Black Men’s Collective, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey (brings together all Black men on campus) Black Male Rap Session, University of Louisville (loosely organized, current topical issues) AAMASU: African American Men of Arizona State University (structured; high school and collegiate) 47

48 Review of Highlighted Programs Sons of Alkebulan and The Black Man Think Tank, University of North Texas (one-time, topical program; can be repeated) It’s Easier Than You Think, Central State University, Wilberforce, Ohio (undergraduate peer support program) The Collegiate 100: An Affiliate Organization of the 100 Black Men of America, Inc (service to community, positive mentors) 48

49 First generation males’ analogous issues 49 African American Common Male Issues Students Issues First Generation Male Students Issues

50 A brief sample of research on first generation students Research shows that first generation college students: are more likely to come from low-income families, to have weaker cognitive skills (in reading, math, and critical thinking), to have lower degree aspirations (Terenzini, Springer, Yaeger, Pascarella, & Nora, 1996). across all demographic categories, arrive at college campuses at risk academically (Ward, Siegel, & Davenport, 2012). Suggestions for enhancing the academic climate were often scared, worried and felt alone (London, 1989). Organize Black male peer groups 50

51 A brief sample of research on first generation students, con’d Research shows that first generation college students: have a difficult time in college because of the little connection they find between the classroom curriculum and their own lives Rendon, 1996). Dawson-Threat ‘s three major issues: including a safe space for expression of personal experience, facilitating and promoting the understanding of difference, and providing the opportunity to explore Black manhood issues. need a sense of belonging on campus in order to successfully be retained at their institution (Longwell-Grice & Longwell-Grice, 2008). Foster sense of community where ever possibly 51

52 A brief sample of research on first generation students, con’d Research shows that first generation college students: need mentors to guide them through their collegiate experience and successful retention programs to keep them connected to the institution (Longwell-Grice & Longwell- Grice, 2008). Developmental Mentoring promotes protégé’s ability to actively participate in his own development had less cultural capital and had a lower understanding of the student role and the ability to respond to the expectations of faculty (Collier and Morgan, 2008). Many African American men become resistant to adopting strategies that would lead to their successful matriculation. 52

53 Black Male Initiative Program at Philander Smith College The BMI mission is to provide relevant experiences for males that will ensure success academically, professionally and socially through development in the following areas: education/retention; leadership; social justice issues; community involvement; and cultural and spiritual enlightenment. Some features: Acknowledgement of birthdays Contact each male on campus 53

54 Bell Resource Center Ohio State University Mission Statement - to examine and address critical issues in society that impact the quality of life for African American males Priorities Produce high-quality research and scholarship on African American males that informs theory, policy, and practice Create a sense of community and connectedness for African American males at The Ohio State University to ensure their success in college Identify best practices and apply cutting-edge research on African American males Provide consultation and professional development to school districts, colleges, agencies and other institutions on issues focusing on African American males Develop partnerships with school districts, colleges, agencies, and other institutions that improve outcomes for African American males 54

55 Bell Resource Center Ohio State University Initiatives and Programs Initiatives Research and Evaluation Bell Fellows Program Men’s Health Initiative Leadership Institute Major Programs Early Arrival Program Gathering of Men African American Male Retreat Recognition Ceremony Other Activities Middle School Group Mentoring Roundtable Discussion Series Historical Lecture Series Professional Development Workshops 55

56 Purpose: To prepare students for campus and community leadership that will positively impact the quality of life for African American males Objectives Apply institute curriculum to improve personal and professional areas of life Learn about leadership styles and accomplishments of past African American male leaders Comprehend the importance of integrity/credibility regarding leadership Assess and understand behavior styles and its impact on leadership Develop practical skills that will improve leadership effectiveness Bell Resource Center Leadership Institute 56

57 African American Male Initiative Our Goal: To track year-to-year increases in 1st-year undergraduate African American male retention. Our Focus: To ultimately improve 4 to 6-year retention & graduation rates at the University of Louisville. 57

58 AAMI Strategies to Support Work with already involved African American men to recruit their uninvolved same-race peers. Systematically collect data from uninvolved African American men to determine how their out-of-class time is spent and why participation in university-sponsored activities and organization is low. Hold student organization leaders accountable for reaching out to underrepresented groups, including African American men. Provide financial and advisory support for minority student organizations, as they provide a much-needed involvement pipeline for African American men. Create and support groups specifically for African American men. Encourage and support consciousness-raising programming as it is likely to incite action. 58

59 AAMI Strategies to Support (Continued) Persuade emerging African American male students to seek leadership positions in student organizations. Host an annual campus kickoff event for African American men. Organize programs for African American male college students designed to introduce them to campus organizations for membership and leadership opportunities. Establish a mentoring program during new student orientation, encouraging African American faculty and staff to mentor African American male students. Reach out to African American parents during new student orientation. Form a coalition of collaborators who are interested in strengthening outcomes for African American undergraduate men. 59

60 Components of the African American Male Initiative 60 AAMI Early Arrival Program Graduate Preparation Sessions Academic Support Program Mentorship

61 AAMI Graduate Preparation Session How do I measure success? What is my role in my family/ to my community? How can I better serve the community? Individual Reflection Who am I? Personal Growth Community Awareness Academic Expectation Civic Duty 61

62 AAMI Academic Support Program Fall 2011  Presentation on Campus Academic Support Services  Referral of self identified ‘at-risk’ students to additional tutoring services with follow-up/accountability. Spring 2012  Academic Support programs specific to Fall 2011 performance.  Individual Academic Success Plans  Mandatory Study Sessions. 62

63 The AAMI Plan of Action Yearly Growth Year 1- Campus Acclimation Year 2- Leadership Development Year 3- Professional Development; Internship, Mentoring Year 4- Graduate School Prep Upcoming Goals Themed Community AAMI Class Paid Student Workers Scholarships & Grants 63

64 A Proactive Plan: Possible Actions 1: Three Ds: disclose disaggregated data Solicit the information about students from Institutional Research & other sources Analyze data on African American men separately from African American women and other men Gather other data that is not readily available Qualitative & quantitative Get data into the hands of those who can use it Can also be applied to first generation students 64

65 A Proactive Plan: Possible Actions 2. The three Ps: promote peer-group programs Identify existing groups and provide necessary support Identify peer support groups that work on other campuses and replicate them – involve students themselves in the development Facilitate communication among peer support groups (and with fraternities) and with off-campus supports Can also be applied to first generation students Support groups (e.g., fraternities) specific to first generation student may not exist – develop comparable support mechanisms 65

66 A Proactive Plan: Possible Actions 3. Three Ms: maximize male mentors Identify Black male role models on campus and actively solicit their assistance (provide incentives) Network with similar efforts on other campuses in proximity Find support for African American male students in fraternal and civic organizations in the area (e.g., residents of nearly cities; 100 Black Men of America chapters in proximity) Recruit and support non-Black mentors Can also be applied to first generation students 66

67 A Proactive Plan: Possible Actions 4. One-on-one and zone defense Devise a plan to have someone contact each African American male student directly to let him know that he matters Follow up on whatever needs are revealed in those contacts Find the “zones” where African American men congregate and approach them there. Can also be applied to first generation students 67

68 A Proactive Plan: Possible Actions 5. Faculty really matter Initiate, or at least make easy, faculty-student interaction with African American male students Attempt to understand and appreciate contemporary Black male culture Volunteer to serve as a mentor or group advisor Create a classroom climate like Dawson-Threat suggests: a safe space for expression of personal experience, facilitate and promote the understanding of difference, provide the opportunity to explore Black manhood issues. Can also be applied to first generation students 68

69 A Proactive Plan: Some Final Thoughts Proactively identify and recruit Black male as leaders, in classroom activities and academic endeavors, as well as in activities and organizations (one by one, if necessary) – let them know they matter Provide training to colleagues, support staff, and other student leaders to sensitize them to general Black male issues and make them aware of their own biases – identify and confront institutionalize racism and negative perceptions of African American males Although perhaps not biased against first generation students, staff and faculty may quite ignorant of their particular issues – enlighten them 69

70 Obtaining a copy of my book ISBN: Available from Wiley.com Or contact Michael Cuyjet 70

71 First gen book suggestion First-Generation College Students: Understanding and Improving the Experience from Recruitment to Commencement (2012) Lee War, Michael J. Siegel, Zebulun Davenport ISBN: Available from Wiley.com 71

72 First generation references Collier, P. J., & Morgan, D. L. (2008). ‘‘Is that paper really due today?’’: Differences in first-generation and traditional college students’ understandings of faculty expectations. Higher Education, 55, London, H. B. (1989). Breaking away: A study of first generation college students and their families. The American Journal of Sociology, 97, Longwell-Grice, R., & Longwell-Grice, H. (2008). Testing Tinto: How do retention theories work for first generation, working-class students? Journal of College Student Retention, 9(4), Rendon, R. (1996). Life on the border. About Campus, 1(5), Terenzini, P. T., Springer, L., Yaeger, P. M., Pascarella, E. T., & Nora, A. (1996). First-generation college students: Characteristics, experiences and cognitive development. Research in Higher Education, 37, Ward, L., Siegel, M J., & Davenport, Z. (2012). First-generation college students: Understanding and improving the experience from recruitment to commencement. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. 72


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