Men of Clark State works to provide positive messages, help African Americans succeed

A group on Clark State Community College’s campus that provides positive messages to Black men at the school also works to increase the success of the underrepresented population.

“African American males are underrepresented in high education and most often have a low rate of completion, compared to other student groups. The lack of education beyond high school lessens the chance for upward economic mobility and adds to inequities in the Black community,” said Ronald Gordon, Dean of Enrollment Services.

The group, Men of Clark State, works to provide motivation through positive academic, career and social messages, Gordon said.

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“Men of Clark State’s goals are to increase the success of African American males and provide examples of success for others to follow,” he said. “Raising retention and completion rates for African American males is a priority of Clark State, and Men of Clark State works with faculty and staff to offer programming to meet these goals.”

The group was introduced to the campus in the fall of 2018 and any male at the college can join or attend meetings or events. Group advisors recruit participants each term, and then those participants are invited to an introductory meeting where they meet each other, the advisors and some of the college leadership, Gordon said.

Those who join the group have access to many different types of services and activities, Gordon said, and more can be created each term.

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“Programming such as Toss the Mic, an open mic night offered twice a year, and career conversations with staff, faculty and community leaders are activities suggested by the students in the program. There is also intensive academic advising available and group mentoring,” he said. “Introducing Men of Clark State participants to community leaders that provide career and social direction is also a programming element of the program.”

Gordon said student connection and support can vary, but that it is always available.

“Connection with students vary per semester and student. Programming is offered throughout the academic year, and students have access to program advisors at all times,” he said.

For more information about the group, visit the college’s website.

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