As part of its ongoing commitment to improve the academic success of its underrepresented male students, MCC has joined the Minority Male Community College Collaborative (M2C3) offered by the National Consortium on College Men of Color.
Launched in February 2015, the M2C3 Consortium, with its more than 70 college and university members, facilitates an exchange of ideas between community colleges across the nation on how best to serve men of color in educational institutions.
“It is inspiring to see educators collaborate and openly share innovative ideas for serving men of color,” said Frank Harris III, co-director of M2C3.
“This innovative group of college leaders will be instrumental in implementing cutting-edge practices and policies to address the achievement gap facing underrepresented men,” added Dr. J. Luke Wood, who also co-directs M2C3.
“The M2C3 Collaborative will build upon student success program outcomes already in place at Muskegon Community College,” responded Dr. Dale Nesbary, the MCC president. “We fully expect this work to help close the achievement gap impacting Black and Latino men.”
Despite programs across the U.S. designed to enhance outcomes for men of color, only 17 percent and 15 percent of Black and Latino men, respectively, earn a certificate, degree, or transfer from a community college to a four-year institution in six years.
At MCC, several related initiatives have already been launched in the wake of the college’s participation in the 2013 Kresge Foundation Student Success Institute’s Conference on Men of Color in Community Colleges.
“We looked at our students of color and all the achievement gaps were low,” explained Dr. John Selmon, MCC Vice President for Student Services and Administration. “So we then identified three priorities for strengthening the college’s work with all students, particularly male students of color.”
The three areas were: (1) increasing new student orientation participation; (2) increasing Success Course persistence rates; and (3) increasing the percentage of students, who were assessed as needing developmental courses, to actually enroll in those courses.
In 2014, MCC was invited to participate in the Center for Community College Student Engagement High-Impact Practices Institute in New Mexico, where MCC locked into three institutional strategies for bolstering MCC’s efforts toward building clear and coherent pathways for student success, noted Selmon.
“New students would be required to establish an academic plan, and attend mandatory orientation and the College Success course,” he explained.
MCC has a goal of meeting or exceeding the national averages for minority male student success, said Selmon. With its engagement in M2C3, MCC will actively participate in the Consortium’s webinars, virtual discussion board, and annual working group meeting.
“M2C3 exposes us to the best practices nationally and allows us to engage in a meaningful dialogue with other higher educational institutions who share our commitment to student success,” said Selmon. “Ultimately, it’s really about ensuring that all of our students start, stay and succeed.”