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Augusta State University seeks more black male students

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Augusta State University is trying to use the high school graduating class of 2012 to fill a void on campus: the black male.

“Not only do we want those students to enter our institution, we want to retain them and graduate them as well,” said Karen Belk, the university’s director of student development.

As of this fall, just 7.8 percent of ASU’s 6,741 students were black men. That is below the 9.7 percent rate for the University System of Georgia’s schools.

To recruit more black men to campus, ASU will offer a summer bridge program in June to help with the transition from high school to college. The program will offer 30 students free enrollment in a three-credit required study skills course along with math, reading and English workshops, mentoring and career and financial information sessions.

To qualify, applicants must be 2012 high school graduates, not have any college credit and plan to attend ASU next fall.

The program is part of the University System’s African American Male Initiative, which was launched at a sample of state schools in 2002 and brought to ASU in 2006. Although the initiative has held workshops and advised on campus for five years, this summer will be the third time the university has offered the summer bridge program.

Deltrye Holt, the program coordinator at ASU, said the summer session helps black men get used to a college setting and increase their likelihood of receiving a degree.

“I think about it sort of like learning to drive a car,” Holt said. “It’s possible to just give someone the keys and say, ‘Go,’ but that would be catastrophic.”

Statewide, the African American Male Initiative has increased the success rate for keeping black males in school. The number of bachelor’s degrees conferred annually to black males at University System institutions has increased by 50 percent since the program’s inception, according to Arlethia Perry-Johnson, the University System’s African American Male Initiative project director.

Enrollment of black males in state-funded universities has increased by 67 percent in the past eight years.

“We’re very proud of the outcome, but it doesn’t mean that we’ve completed what is necessary,” Perry-Johnson said. “Black male performance rates are lower against all of their other peer groups; white male, white female, black female. Our desire is to continue to close those performance gaps.”

In enhancing student performance, Belk said certain indicators have improved because of the initiative on campus. In 2006, the program’s first year at ASU, the university retained 48 percent of black male students. In 2007 the retention rate jumped to 67 percent, which Belk said had everything to do with the outreach to these students.

ASU graduate Andre Goodman said that when he came to ASU in 2006, he felt like he needed extra support to be successful in college.

“I didn’t know anybody at Augusta State,” Goodman said. “I kind of felt isolated in a sense. I kind of just came to class and went home.”

When Belk, who then was the initiative’s coordinator at ASU, contacted Goodman about the summer bridge program, he said the workshops and mentoring helped him network with students and staff and gain much-needed confidence.

“It kind of reinvigorated me to want to pursue my education a little bit more seriously,” Goodman said. “It was one of those group effects when you just want to do better because you’re surrounded by people doing well.”

The confidence and resources Goodman gained that summer encouraged him to get more involved. He soon became a student body president and created contacts to last a lifetime.

Now with a political science degree in hand, Goodman works as an academic adviser at ASU’s Master of Arts in teaching program and encourages students to take advantage of the same help he received.

“It’s hard to get people to apply for these types of programs because they perceive it as a stigma, even though it’s not a stigma at all,” Goodman said. “It’s a positive reinforcement.”

INTEREST MEETING

What: African American Male Initiative, The Winning Game Plan summer program interest meeting

When: 6 p.m. Dec. 6

Where: Augusta State University, University Hall, Room 170

To apply for The Winning Game Plan, visit www.aug.edu/admissions/AAInitiative.php

BY THE NUMBERS

Year200620072008200920102011
Total students6,5736,5886,6897,0616,9196,741
Black males407447458515507527
Comments (21) Add comment
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Haki
31
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Haki 11/25/11 - 06:19 pm
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54 and still whining.

54 and still whining.

Vito45
-2
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Vito45 11/25/11 - 06:25 pm
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Bonk, FOS nor FOP apply here.

Bonk, FOS nor FOP apply here. The AC owns and operates these comments sections and can allow/disallow whatever there whim at the moment is.

As to the article, I understand the desire for diversity and all that, but wouldn't a particular group of people be enrolling there if they WANTED to? My youngest son went to Ga Sou and it was very diverse.

Little Lamb
45888
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Little Lamb 11/25/11 - 10:25 pm
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Tracey McManus wrote: To

Tracey McManus wrote:

To qualify, applicants must be 2012 high school graduates, not have any college credit and plan to attend ASU next fall.

No mention of skin color in the qualification list here. Do 2012 high school graduates of Asian descent qualify?

Little Lamb
45888
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Little Lamb 11/25/11 - 10:27 pm
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Come to think of it, there is

Come to think of it, there is no mention of sex in the qualification list. Are women eligible?

Craig Spinks
817
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Craig Spinks 11/26/11 - 02:01 am
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To borrow a term and an idea

To borrow a term and an idea from that undeservedly chastised community leader Rick Azziz, when Black males come to view a college degree from ASU as being "cool," they'll sign up in droves.

Of course, the real challenge there will be to persuade them that earning a degree is worth what it costs in time and effort. Who's engaged in a systematic endeavor to accomplish that? Nobody?

mycomments
330
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mycomments 11/26/11 - 02:44 am
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Per the link above to apply

Per the link above to apply for The Winning Game Plan:

Student must meet the following requirements:
•African-American Male
•Spring 2012 high school graduate
•Has not earned college credit
•Plans to attend college full-time for the Fall 2012
semester

Is this seriously legal? A state university can discriminate to whom it allows to apply for a program in which "Tuition, fees, and books for the program will be provided"? Based on nothing but gender and race?

Riverman1
83754
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Riverman1 11/26/11 - 02:57 am
0
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There's an economic force at

There's an economic force at work here. College degrees from public universities are not in demand. The degrees have been so watered down that they mean little in the real world.

The poor who have to find jobs fast are the first to adapt to the realities of finding jobs and not running up huge debts. They have learned they are better off seeking blue collar type jobs right out of high school. Community colleges like ASU who literally accept anyone are the first affected by the realities of the market place.

GaStang22
910
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GaStang22 11/26/11 - 04:46 am
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I agree with Vito, you give
Unpublished

I agree with Vito, you give them free and special incentives, even though they could go for free on their own but don't want to just to get your stats to where you want them, but any other year graduate, race, gender, age person who truly wants to go to college but can't afford it or has to live and work miserably and getting themselves in school debt to go... to heck with them, you have enough of those stats. That doesn't seem right. Some type of affirmative action there? Thought that was out.

And yes Haki, he can whine all he wants, there are so many plans designed to help those of "certain" requirements to go when they really don't even have the passion to go, but others who don't quite fit that criteria have to do it the hard old fashion way and that's not right either! Where is their support group? I sure would have liked that help when I was in college, but even now I wouldn't fit the criteria, what kind of bull is that? There are other race, age, gendered students who need the same for many different reasons. If you were born rich and could afford to go and had a great support group,good for you, you have no idea, if you were born with the confidence of being able to go and went on a subsidy program you should be thanking him, he helped pay for you! If you didn't even go, you are just too young too even know yet!!

dhpsmp
20
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dhpsmp 11/26/11 - 08:18 am
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Paine College, I am a White
Unpublished

Paine College, I am a White male with no college credits and would like to attend your school. Will you give me classes to bring up to a high school senior level? I know you have a shortage of White male students, so I must qualify.

Willow Bailey
20580
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Willow Bailey 11/26/11 - 08:28 am
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I think the help is great .

I think the help is great . A program that is providing the support and tools necessary to get on the right track for educational planning and success is a great step in the right direction for recruitment and retention. But why limit it to black males? Why target any specific group made up of any particular race or gender?

Could it be that this is about a government grant related endeavor? While, I am not opposed to the help that is being made available to this group, it does seem discriminatory in nature and would not likely hold up for a targeted group of white males or a group of defined females . It would be nice if ASU would respond with more information.

seenitB4
87062
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seenitB4 11/26/11 - 08:31 am
0
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The article says.. The

The article says..
The program will offer 30 students free enrollment in a three-credit required study skills course along with math, reading and English workshops, mentoring and career and financial information sessions.

I hope it works & I would suggest the 30 repay this by mentoring a group of kids.

avidreader
3215
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avidreader 11/26/11 - 09:24 am
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People who critisize programs

People who critisize programs like Bridge never want to look ahead twenty years. I consider it a fair assumption that every black male who gets involved and graduates will, in turn, encourage another black male (or more than one) to do the same. The recipient of this encouragement may be a son, a nephew, or simply a kid from the streets. One never knows where the blessings of this ONE educated black man might spread. Eventually our communities will see more two-parent families and less street urchins who have no sense of direction.

Think about it people! The African American male is a statistic in our educational system that cannot be ignored. Do we want a brighter future for ourselves? Then NOW is the time to remedy a problem that will eventually help everyone.

Carleton Duvall
6305
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Carleton Duvall 11/26/11 - 09:29 am
0
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It is much cheaper to pay for

It is much cheaper to pay for their education, regardless of race, than it is to house them in prison. That is where many will end up without an education.

hounddog
0
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hounddog 11/26/11 - 09:40 am
0
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‘To recruit more black men to
Unpublished

‘To recruit more black men to campus, ASU will offer a summer bridge program in June to help with the transition from high school to college.’
Go down to the RC jail there is no shortage of young men there.

Willow Bailey
20580
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Willow Bailey 11/26/11 - 09:52 am
0
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Exactly, scoobydo, this plan

Exactly, scoobydo, this plan made available to all students should be the goal of every school. Why pick and choose who is to be included?

Chillen
17
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Chillen 11/26/11 - 10:09 am
0
0
This program is racist and

This program is racist and should be challenged by other students so that they can have the same "freebie".

Imagine if this story was about "white males". This would be national news, the NAACP would be down here protesting and Al Sharpton & Jesse Jackson would be making appearances.

This country makes me sick. Policial correctness and special favors for certain races MUST END.

allhans
23626
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allhans 11/26/11 - 10:21 am
0
0
Is there a requirement such

Is there a requirement such as "eager to learn"?
You can only lead a horse to water...

Craig Spinks
817
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Craig Spinks 11/26/11 - 10:35 am
0
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Riverman1, There's plenty of

Riverman1,

There's plenty of truth in what you say.

Of course, there's a second economic force at work here, too. Lots of Black males don't have the financial resources to attend and don't want to take on debt to do so.

Thankfully, AC cost $55/quarter- a sum my Dad could afford- when I began matriculating there in 9/63. Otherwise, and to many's great pleasure, I'd be getting ready to report to a job selling shoes at GB's at the corner of Wrightsboro and Marks Church Road instead of posting this comment.

Bizkit
31314
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Bizkit 11/26/11 - 11:41 am
0
0
Interesting they are trying

Interesting they are trying to meet quotas. Paine College only has about half as many black males-about 250. There the average SAT is about 780 so if you want to go to college your in at Paine-they have no admissions standards. The cost is high but with 99% on student aid they all go to school. Of course it takes on average 6-8 years to complete a degree there because they set high standards that few students can attain (so it takes them a long time and repeat courses).

Patty-P
3516
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Patty-P 11/26/11 - 12:05 pm
0
0
I think it would be nice to

I think it would be nice to see more black men go to college/ASU. Some out there don't have anyone motivating them to go to college and there are some talented folks out there.

rmwhitley
5547
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rmwhitley 11/26/11 - 01:49 pm
0
0
Apply at the Richmond County
Unpublished

Apply at the Richmond County Detention Center.

GaStang22
910
Points
GaStang22 11/26/11 - 04:00 pm
0
0
Avidreader, and who made them
Unpublished

Avidreader, and who made them that type of statistic? They, especially as children, are afforded the same opportunity as others, yet they MAKE themselves that statistic. It falls within the family and influences around them, and until you change that it isn't going to change......and they don't want it too. They are proud of the way it is!!!!

allhans
23626
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allhans 11/26/11 - 06:36 pm
0
0
Oh my. So much for so

Oh my. So much for so few.
Shouldn't the goal be to get better, more interested students, with no preference for race or sex?

Pu239
284
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Pu239 11/26/11 - 07:04 pm
0
0
I wonder what the percentage
Unpublished

I wonder what the percentage of Hispanic males is at ASU.....

prov227
3157
Points
prov227 11/26/11 - 10:25 pm
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0
In the sixties, ASU admitted

In the sixties, ASU admitted students with SATs near the lower end of the range on a provisional basis, that is, if the provisional student completed three full credit courses with at least a "C" average, the student was admitted unconditionally and determined to be capable of succeeding in college-level courses. North Carolina community colleges offer non-credit "conditioning" courses, such as preparation for the academic study environment to anyone seeking the skills necessary to succeed as an undergraduate. Of course, these programs are not subsidized as "free" courses.

Targeting a specific group of students can be troubling for the targeted group (stereotyping) and to others who feel "left-out" because they don't receive special privileges accorded the targeted group, but still support public colleges through taxes and, voluntarily, through gifts.

This program may also be an indication of the failure of the free public school system to prepare black males who want to perform on the college level.

Bizkit
31314
Points
Bizkit 11/26/11 - 11:18 pm
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A study of private colleges

A study of private colleges demonstrated a bias in college admissions such that african-americans and hispanics have the least requirements, then caucasians, and the most stringent was against asians. Asians are a minority, display health disparities just like african-american populations yet there are higher standards and discrimination against asians to attend private colleges according to the study. Sad state of affairs when we try to solve discrimination with discrimination.

Bizkit
31314
Points
Bizkit 11/26/11 - 11:22 pm
0
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It is a smart strategy for

It is a smart strategy for ASU as there are large government grants to subsidize african-americans in Science Technology and Math (STEM). Note Paine College has received multimillion dollar grants from Department of Energy and Department of Education for students in STEM fields.

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