The Men of L.E.G.A.C.I. Student Success Program: Building Strategic Platforms for Collegiate Success

The Men of L.E.G.A.C.I. Student Success Program: Building Strategic Platforms for Collegiate Success

Jerry L. Wallace (University of Houston – Downtown, USA) and Vida Robertson (University of Houston – Downtown, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5990-0.ch011

Abstract

Strategic and intentional engagement of first-year collegiate males aligned with faculty cultural competency development are areas that can impact persistence in the first year. African Americans only represent 11.4% of the overall Texas population, with 12.6% of students enrolled in P-12 and 13.4% of students currently enrolled in institutions of higher education in Texas. The percentage of African American males that are entering college and persisting through the first year is already overwhelmingly in a category red based on overall numbers. Colleges will need to make sure that recruitment efforts and appropriate advertising is available in areas that African American males would generally search for job postings. This chapter will explore platforms in establishing a student success academic program at a university campus geared to support African American males.
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Introduction

In this country the perceived notion is that African American males are the lowest sub-population of collegiate graduates due to their lack of academic development and preparedness (the terms African American and Black are used interchangeably) (Brown & Donnor, 2012). New student orientations and seminar courses at institutions are interventions that attempt to alleviate challenges in the first year for students. However, there hasn’t been much emphasis placed on the specific onboarding and academic advising for African American males as they enter college. African American first-generation student population had experienced a significant decline, dropping from 62.9% in 1971 to 22.6% in 2005 (Saenz, Hurtado, Wolf, & Yeung, 2007). Flowers (2006) indicated that Black males at community colleges and universities have significant variances in their social integration. As more first generation Black males enroll in college one of the more common challenges they face is a poor level of preparation for succeeding academically in the college environment (Inman & Mayes, 1999). New student orientation, guided registration or even financial aid support are all important steps to completing the enrollment process, however, what about strategically placed academic and culturally supported programs dedicated to Black male students. Mosby (2009) and Perrakis (2008) noted that Black males were more likely to succeed when they felt a sense of belonging and affirmation within the institution. Wood and Hilton (2012) noted in a study of participants who engaged in an academic success program built relationships that were based on academic pursuits and then those relationships positively affected their success over time. They indicated three key recommendations: 1.) creating awareness of campus resources; 2.) brining role models to campus, and; 3.) establishing a Black male academic success program. This chapter will review a student success program built to engage minority males (Black and Hispanic males) at a four-year university from the onboarding process through the first year collegiate transition. A theoretical framework review along with recommendations for educators (e.g., administrators, student affairs personnel, faculty, school districts, etc.,) will be discussed regarding pathways for success that engage first year collegiate Black males.

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