Engaging African American Males in Community Colleges

Edited by:
Ted N. Ingram, Bronx Community College
James Coaxum, III, Rowan University

A volume in the series: Contemporary Perspectives on Access, Equity, and Achievement. Editor(s): Chance W. Lewis, University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Numerous studies on Black male college students have focused on comparing the experiences and outcomes of Black male undergraduate students attending HBCUs and predominantly White institutions (PWIs). Despite the important contribution of these studies, research about the experiences of African American men in community colleges has been overshadowed by the abundance of research on African American males in other content.

In fact, many scholars in the higher education community may have erroneously assumed that the research on African American undergraduate students at 4-year institutions defined the experiences of all African American male undergraduate students. Such an assumption can be further from the truth. For example, Harper and colleagues (2011) share how African American men have unequal experiences as residential assistants on campus or the role of fraternities in undergraduate experiences. Because most community colleges do not have any of these amenities, certain aspects of these studies lack relevancy. What is missing is from the literature is information on the experiences of community college students. J. Luke Wood (2015, 2014, 2013) begins to lay the foundation our understanding of the work of this particular group; however, there is so much more educational researchers and practitioners need to know about African American males in community college.

Further, the need to investigate the experiences of community college students is timely as warranted by federal interest. President Obama has charged policy makers to help ensure that every American has at least one year of postsecondary education and the U.S. has the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020. In addition, $500 million in grants have been allocated to American community colleges and universities for the development and expansion of innovative training program. With this in mind, community colleges are essential to helping the economy by providing skilled workers and forming relationships with local employers.

Given these and other queries, the purpose of this is to provide context about the experiences of African American male undergraduates attending community colleges. Indeed, such research is important, particularly since community colleges play a significant role in the number of African American males who are enrolled in higher education. According to National Council of Education Statistics (2011), at 12 percent, there are more African Americans enrolled in community college compared to 11 percent of those in 4-year institutions. African Americans earned 14 percent of all associate degrees and 10 percent of all bachelors. With this in mind, the amount of research available on African Americans in community college should be competitive with the amount of research of African Americans in 4-year institutions. With the increase of students of color enrolled in community college, the role of community colleges will become even more significant. Accordingly, the goal of this text is to guide educators (e.g., faculty members, staff, administrators), stakeholders (e.g., family and community members, governing bodies, policy makers), and African American males themselves in transcending barriers facing African American male achievement in college. This proposed edited book will focus on the engagement of African American male within community colleges. Understanding the importance of engagement and its relationship towards persistence and graduation warrants the need for this volume.

The book will offer insight on the following topical areas: 1)status: highlighting the contemporary data pertaining to African American men in community college and in the United States; 2) research: themes derived from empirical data by means of qualitative or quantitative methodology; 3) recommendations: practical suggestions for those who are interested in supporting similar African American collegiate men.

In particular, insight will be provided into students’ educational experiences and campus services. Further, information will be offered about student’s social engagement, academic progress, employment and financial situation, as well as home situation. Finally, the book will address the future of community college and what is needed to better service their students.

Chapter 1: The Experiences of African American Males in Community Colleges. Chapter 2: Factors Influencing Persistence of African American Males in Community Colleges. Chapter 3: Academic Preparedness and College Readiness: The Role of Remediation. Chapter 4: Tackling Retention: Mentoring Programs Make a Difference. Chapter 5: The Significance of Faculty Interactions for African American Males. Chapter 6: Educational Opportunity Programs: Access, Equity and Success. Chapter 7: To be African American, Male, and a Student-Athlete in a Community College. Chapter 8: Where Do I Go From Here?: The Promise of the Transfer Mission. Chapter 9: The Impact of Cultural Capital on Graduation Rates. Chapter 10: From Research to Practice: Implications for Engaging African American Males.