Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) has received $75,000 to increase retention, completion, and transfer success for male students of color.
The grant – from the University of Southern California’s Takeoff: Institutional Innovations for College Men of Color project – will allow CCBC’s Male Student Success Initiative (MSSI) to widen access to the school’s Honors Program and recruit higher achieving men of color, specifically Black and Latino male students.
“Within higher education, closing the achievement gap is the conversation most associated with our male students of color,” said MSSI Program Director Dr. Sunni Solomon. “While that conversation is important, we also have male students of color who thrive academically, and that message is getting lost. Imagine what that does to their psyche. They don’t see themselves as high achievers because the loudest narrative is they are not. We want to change that narrative reinforcing that they are capable and qualified to participate in Honors courses and create an environment within Honors which makes them feel welcomed.”
As it stands now, Black and Latino male students are approximately 45% of CBCC’s male student population but only 6.9% of the Honors Program population. The goal is at least 15%.
“We’re being very intentional with the recruitment of our male students of color because we want to make sure that the college’s demographic landscape is also reflected within our Honors Program,” said Adrianne Washington, CCBC dean of special academic programs. “This grant will allow us to create academic courses, establish standard research experiences and reimagine Honors spaces keeping diversity and inclusion top of mind. We are fully vested in the success of this student population.”