Group focuses on achievement within target demographic
By Don Threm ASU Mid-South
Arkansas State University Mid-South has joined the Minority Male Community College Collaborative (M2C3) National Consortium on College Men of Color to enhance its commitment to the success of historically underrepresented and underserved students. “Being part of the M2C3 collaboration will provide our institution with access to current resources, including ‘best practices,’ that will assist in our efforts toward student engagement, retention, and graduation,” said Dr. Derek Moore, ASU Mid-South Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Life. “Also, our students will have opportunities to communicate with their peers from around the country through workshops, conferences, and virtual correspondence.” With a male minority enrollment that tops 20 percent, ASU Mid-South recognizes the importance of aligning itself with the organization launched earlier this year by consortium co-directors Dr. J. Luke Wood and Dr. Frank Harris III. “We truly appreciate both Drs. Wood and Harris for welcoming us to the M2C3 consortium and look forward to working more closely with them in the future,” said Jeremy Reece, ASU Mid-South Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. “When Dr. Moore arrived at our institution, he brought with him the suggestion of partnering with M2C3 to strengthen some of the work we were already doing on our campus to support students through goal completion. We are thrilled to be a member of such a powerful collaborative and hope not only to gain valuable insight for our campus constituents but also to support colleagues on other college campuses across the country performing similar work.” As an M2C3 member, ASU Mid-South will utilize access to webinars on men of color and to the organization’s virtual discussion board, will participate in information sharing related to promising practices of fellow community colleges, and will send representatives to the annual working group meeting hosted in San Diego. The college’s engagement in M2C3 will also enhance professional development for faculty and staff, enable informed interventions for its current programs serving men of color, and inspire new initiatives addressing challenges facing these men. Launched in February 2015 in Southern California, the consortium is generating significant two-year institution interaction with an average of more than 1,000 consortium members participating in each webinar. “This innovative group of college leaders will be instrumental in implementing cutting-edge practices and policies to address the achievement gap facing underrepresented men,” Dr. Wood said. “It is inspiring to see educators collaborate and openly share innovative ideas for serving men of color,” added Dr. Harris. “We look forward to the future of M2C3 and the future success of men of color.” Despite programs designed to enhance outcomes for men of color in the U.S., only 17 percent of Black males and 15 percent of Latino males earn a certificate, degree, or transfer to a four-year institution within six years of enrolling. Figures for men from other minority ethnic groups also indicate an abundant need for improvement. M2C3 is the first research and practice center specifically focused on advancing student success outcomes for men of color in community colleges. For additional information about student success initiatives or for information about life-changing education/training programs at ASU Mid-South, visit the campus at 2000 West Broadway in West Memphis, contact Enrollment Services at (870) 733-6728 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or see the college’s website at http://www.asumidsouth.edu.