While mentoring is an important aspect of college for all students, it is especially critical for African-American and Latino male students.
The national college graduation rate for African-American men is 33 percent compared with 45 percent for African-American women, according to the U.S. Department of Education. Young Latino men are also less likely to be enrolled in college compared with young adults in other groups. Less than one-fourth of Latino men ages 18 to 24 were enrolled in college or graduate school in 2008, compared with one-third of Latino women.
In an effort to address this issue specifically at MSU, faculty, academic and student affairs professionals from across campus were invited to participate in a webinar focused on illustrating how to incorporate a holistic coaching and mentoring program for African-American and Latino males to help support overall student success efforts.
“We believed this webinar would be a good way to bring together many different parts of the campus to discuss the diverse needs of a unique portion of the student body,” James M. Lucas, assistant dean, Global Education and Curriculum, said. “Retention of African-American and Latino males is an issue of concern for our Office of Inclusion and Student Affairs. Men generally have a lower retention and graduation rate than women and men of color have lower rates than the majority of students.”
Webinar participants gained an increased understanding of the unique issues facing men of color nationally and at MSU; learned how they can collaborate in intra-institutional partnerships; and create sustained conversation and ongoing work toward ways to improve the opportunities for education and leadership for men of color.