Mentoring the Black Male Faculty Member: Appealing to the Needs Before Academia

Mentoring the Black Male Faculty Member: Appealing to the Needs Before Academia

Christopher Clomus Mathis Jr. (South Carolina State University, USA) and Rashad Anderson (South Carolina State University, USA)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 23
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-4071-7.ch010
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This chapter is written to educate and challenge some of the misconceptions related to a Black male experience prior to attending a Historical Black College or University (HBCU). The African proverb “It takes a village to raise a child” captures the Black male experience prior to their coming to a HBCU for higher education and the overall challenges and task. Historically the African American community has taken on the responsibility of educating the majority of our children within our communities. Those days have disappeared. It seems the reality shows have tried to educate the youth, and this is problematic. Thus, in this chapter, the authors examine the Black males experience prior to attending a HBCU.
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In the (2016) Guide to Mentoring Boys and Young Men of Color (BYMOC), it shows the importance of mentoring, for the launched of My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) initiative in 2014 President Obama states that BYMOC is disproportionately represented in their exposure to several risk factors and challenges:

Data shows that boys and young men of color, regardless of socio-economic background, are disproportionately at risk throughout the journey from their youngest years to college and career. For instance, large disparities remain in reading proficiency, with 86 percent of Black boys and 82 percent of Hispanic boys reading below proficiency levels by the fourth grade – compared to 58 percent of White boys reading below proficiency levels. Additionally, the disproportionate number of Black and Hispanic young men who are unemployed or involved in the criminal justice system alone is a perilous drag on state budgets and undermines family and community stability. These young men are more than six times as likely to be victims of murder as their White peers and account for almost half of the country's murder victims each year (“Fact Sheet”, 2014, February 27).

The America’s Promise Alliance (2015) research suggested that relationships play a very important part in mentoring and the ability to thrive. Further supported by (Putnam, 2015; Western & Pettit, 2010, as cited by Forwarding Change Consulting, 2015), stating that BYMOC is showing negative or stagnant trends relative to others in high school graduation, in college enrollment and completion, and in employment and earnings. (p.4). In addition, the Schott Foundation indicated statistics for African-American male high school seniors: Nationally, fewer than 50% graduate from high school and the top 10% of low-performing schools graduate barely over a quarter of African American men (as cited in Mata, 2011).

Exasperating these difficulties is the lack of official assurance to providing Black males with the necessary educational support services (e.g., mentoring) (Zell, 2011). Hence, these factors, in turn, affect younger Black males the matriculation rates of Black males, who are not only the least likely to enroll in college, but are also the most likely to drop out without earning a college degree (American Council on Education, 2003; Cuyjet, 2006; “Here is good news,” 2007, cited in Zell, 2011, p. 215). Thus, it is vital to design precise mentoring programs for younger Black male students with the potential to increase retention and graduation rates. In addition to increased retention and graduation rates, Black male students’ level of self-esteem may increase due to mentoring programs (Whitfield & Edwards, 2011).

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