Michael A. Couch II
September 26, 2019
Despite the increase in diversity, colleges and universities across the nation continue to struggle to provide, retain, and graduate students of color to the same degree as their White and Asian counterparts (Duranczyk, Higbee, & Lundell, 2004). Understanding what research has shown us consistently over time what is going to be the big idea to help us address how do we support our minority male students. The big idea now is minority male initiatives focusing on success, creating a space for belonging so that students feel welcomed and supported in this educational space. With these programs targeted around breaking down barriers to persistence and creating transparency to show campus leadership, we have to support these men differently. I believe that it starts with addressing what the definition of success looks like and sharing that information with campus leadership, faculty, staff and most importantly students.
Often times from what I have seen the people who are actually doing the work, working with these men are often silenced and do not have a seat at the table when decisions are being made. Hence where the issues begin, you have a difference of opinion on what success looks like, with people who have no experience dealing with these men but, we know that if we have an initiative it will solve our problem.
So, how do we better support minority male initiatives? I believe a couple of things have to happen.
I believe that by acknowledging what we already know from research and date a simple thing we can do to better support these men is to listen more, listen to our staff and students. I believe that just like the points below we have to talk and listen to our students as their needs are ever-changing which means our initiatives and programs must adjust to best serve them. By listening to them I believe we have a great opportunity to build on the great work that minority male initiatives do.
What are some things you all feel that we as educators can do to better support our minority male initiatives?
Duranczyk, I. M., Higbee, J. L., & Lundell, D. B. (2004). Best practices for access and retention in higher education. Center for Research on Developmental Education and Urban Literacy, University of Minnesota
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