Overcoming the Past to Create New Possibilities for Academic Achievement Among African American Males

Overcoming the Past to Create New Possibilities for Academic Achievement Among African American Males

Calvin Briggs, Christopher K. Bass, Gerry White
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3285-0.ch001
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This chapter seeks to explore the need for the ongoing growth and development of collaborative efforts among institutions seeking to serve underserved and underprepared students, especially African American males, and their stakeholders. The chapter provides a brief historical context of public K-12 education and Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The objective is to provide context for today's academic challenges among African American males, subsequently providing alternatives to the current academic framework, revising the “pipeline” structure with an artery mode. This model reflects a holistic education framework that provides a strong cultural and social foundation; continuity in curriculum, education funding, and policy; and engages all constituents of the community, positively benefitting underserved families and students, particularly African American males.
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African American Male Achievement

The correlation between African American male unemployment, low levels of high school graduation and college enrollment, and high levels of incarceration rates to that of the academic achievement illustrates the need to research factors that affect their academic achievement (Alexander, 2010). Realizing that academic achievement coincides a student’s belief that he or she can achieve, academic self-efficacy, motivating students to work through academic and social challenges was deeply emphasized by Bandura1,

Currently, a tremendous effort is under way to increase the number of underrepresented minorities entering STEM career pathways in the United States, specifically, African American males (NSF, 2007). This is a lofty effort to reverse the effects of ever increasing social, cultural, and class barriers that exist for African American males (NSF, 2007). These barriers have contributed to the growing apathy toward education in African American communities, resulting in low high school graduation rates, decreased college enrollment, and increased imprisonment (Steele, 1986). According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2013), unemployment among African Americans not enrolled in school between the ages of 16 – 24 is 29.2%, a difference of 13 percentage points from their nearest counterpart, Hispanics (16.2%). The unemployment rates for Asians (13.9%) are the lowest, followed by Whites (14.1%).

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