Men of Atlantic Cape
The academic and social problems confronting Black and Latino male students are often exacerbated by the attitudes and practices that have established themselves as “tradition” in higher education arenas. Campus environments such as Atlantic Cape Community College are witnessing increased numbers in the attrition of Black and Latino males. This problem may suggest a lack of sensitivity or understanding of the Black and Latino culture and the dynamics of their development. As a result, professionals committed to the success of Black and Latino males may need to assume the role of educational advocates. Educational advocacy involves the initiation of activities to help the college community better understand the dynamics of male development from a Black and Latino perspective identify needs of Black and Latino male students and address those needs through various activities and provide support through group meetings under the leadership of Counseling and Support Services staff members.
The Men of Atlantic Cape (MAC) Program is unique in it's approach, since it has the direct support and involvement of the Diversity and Equity Committee of the Board of Trustees. Committee members meet with program participants to offer encouragement and support.
The MAC Program sponsors lectures, workshops, conferences and group meetings to address the needs of program participants. Through these measures various aspects of academic success will be presented and participants are offered a safe environment in which to discuss obstacles that may interfere with the achievement of academic goals.
The plight of the Black and Latino male in higher education will not be remedied overnight. However, by not ignoring this issue and making a concerted effort to address the high attrition rates of this population at Atlantic Cape Community College, the current trend may be reversed.
Men of Atlantic Cape Program
The mission of the Men of Atlantic Cape Program is to promote the intellectual advancement of minority males by demonstrating and reinforcing the essential values of scholarship and perseverance through a series of activities that encourage self-motivation, self-empowerment, sound decision-making, academic excellence, the value of community service and becoming model citizens.
Recent and Upcoming Activities
Members of the MAC Program met at the Eastbay Crab and Grille Restaurant on December 18, 2008. This meeting was the last of a three part lecture series entitled, “Life Navigation 101” presented by Edward Marshall.
The focus of this session was self-evaluation and planning. Students were informed of the importance of developing a support group. They realized that they can accomplish more if they surround themselves with positive people and people who have similar aspirations and goals as they do. Each student had to identify members of their current support group and develop a plan of who and how to add to this group.
Students also reviewed copies of their unofficial transcript and the college catalog so that they were aware of their grade point average and their progress towards completion of their degree requirements. Based on this information, students assessed what was needed to be a strong admissions applicant for a transfer college or university. Each student developed an academic plan or as some students called it, “A blueprint for graduation” to guide them towards graduation, transfer, and/or “the next step”.
Although this was the last session in the series, Mr. Marshall made a commitment to group members to follow-up and consult with each student as they navigate through their respective plans. They were all asked to call Mr. Marshall with their updates and questions.
The scheduled meeting dates
The scheduled meeting dates for spring 2009 are listed below. All meetings will be held on the Mays Landing campus in the Counseling and Support Services Resource Room. If there is interest, video-conferencing will continue at the Atlantic City and Cape May campuses.
Wednesday February 11 12:30 pm
Thursday March 5 12:30 pm
Wednesday April 8 12:30 pm
The Etiquette workshop was held on Thursday, March 13, 2008 in the Careme’s Gourmet Restaurant at the Atlantic Cape Mays Landing campus. This engaging and informative workshop was lead by Dr. Ollievita Williams. Dr. Williiams has served in the educational arena for over 25 years and has taught at several different levels. This workshop was designed to train our young males on proper etiquette. The students learned how to make a proper introduction and how to conduct themselves in any professional environment surrounding a meal, thus helping them feel more confident in such situations. The event consisted of a four course meal and training on the proper conversation for a professional atmosphere. All students received an etiquette handbook that can be used for future reference. The workshop allowed our young males to be better prepared for the Restaurant Gala, a black tie event held at the Atlantic City Convention Center.
National Conference on Student Leadership
The national conference on student leadership was held in Atlanta, Georgia on March 29 through April 2, 2008. Keith Hall, Yussuf Yussuf and Gerardo Melendez were selected from the Black/Latino Male Retention Program to represent Atlantic Cape Community College.
The purpose of the conference was to provide the students with tools and techniques on how to become better leaders in their respective schools. In addition, it allowed our young males to be inspired, informed and better prepared student leaders.
Some of the workshops attended were:
- Organizational Management: Effective meetings and productive action.
- International and inclusive community building.
- Publicity and promotion: shared vision and best practices.
- Communication and conflict resolution: listen, learn and speak.
- Cre-8-tive leap- motivation for the mind, spirit, and creative genius in you!
- Networking secrets for the shy to the gutsy.
- Community service: The true test of student leadership
- Anger Management – working together in a college/university atmosphere
- Getting from college to carrier
- Leadership lessons learned from nature
This conference was filled with highly intelligent, experienced speakers who readily shared their experiences and motivated students. As people say “experience is the best teacher.” These speakers reminded students of the importance of sound decision making in their lives. The students were also enlightened on the need to make good decisions that will lead them to a path of success.
Young Men Empowerment Conference
The Young Men Empowerment Conference was held Friday, April 25, 2008 at Rutgers University, Newark campus. The purpose of attending this workshop was to empower as well as expose our male students to career and educational opportunities. Through a series of workshops our Black/Latino Male Retention Program students were able to attain valuable information about the real world of work. The students had the chance to meet with local employers that were interested in hiring for current and future internships, jobs and volunteer work experiences. Through continued educational opportunities our male students were able to network and open themselves up to major life changing events. The hope was that the exposure received from role models and employers would provide additional information for students to make better decissions related to academic and career choices.
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