The University System of Georgia’s African-American Male Initiative (AAMI) is a nationally recognized statewide network of programs that has a documented track record of increasing the enrollment, retention, and graduation of African-American males within Georgia’s public colleges and universities. Since the project’s inception in fall 2002, literally thousands of African-American males have matriculated within and graduated from University System of Georgia (USG) institutions. AAMI programs are presently operating on 26 of the 29 USG campuses throughout the state of Georgia. These programs serve a wide array of students, providing strategic interventions, academic support, and civic and professional exposure aimed at increasing their successful matriculation and graduation.
AAMI is widely credited with being the first-ever statewide effort specifically focused on increasing post-secondary educational attainment among Black males. Peers in the higher education community continuously seek to learn from and adopt AAMI’s trailblazing model as awareness has increased nationally of the ethnic and gender disparities prevalent on college campuses across the country. The College Board – the nation’s standard bearer for higher education access – has cited AAMI for its progress in closing postsecondary achievement gaps between Black male and female students in the state. The project also has been frequently cited and profiled in key media outlets, including The New York Times, USA Today, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Diverse Issues in Higher Education, Inside Higher Education, among others. AAMI’s work in improving educational outcomes for Black males is now positioned as a national model and as a potential demonstration project.
Data collected by the University System of Georgia’s Office of Research and Policy Analysis reflect significant increases in the enrollment, retention, and graduation rates of African-American males within the USG, and in the total number of degrees conferred upon this population of students. Black male enrollment in the USG has climbed by 80.74% over the past thirteen years – from 17,068 students in fall 2002 to 31,461 in fall 2015. Retention rates are strongly balanced against the tremendous enrollment growth, with the latest data (fall 2014 to fall 2015) reflecting a rate of 77.90%. The six-year graduation rate for the fall 2009 cohort, which graduated by spring 2015, has risen to 34.80% - an 5.85% increase in the African-American male graduation rate since AAMI’s inception. Perhaps the most important measure of the impact of AAMI is the number of bachelor’s degrees conferred annually upon African-American males at USG institutions, which jumped by 108.81% (from 1,294 in fiscal year 2003 to 2,702 in fiscal year 2015).
With the continued commitment of AAMI program officials, our civic partners and our funding supporters, we will remain laser-focused on enhancing the educational attainment of African-American males.