The University System of Georgia’s (USG) African-American Male Initiative (AAMI) is a statewide initiative designed to increase the number of African-American males who complete their postsecondary education from any of the USG institutions. Its mission is to provide an integrated program model of academic and social tools that support students around adopting a positive mindset to successfully complete classes, elevate their cumulative GPAs, matriculate through each academic level and graduate.
As background, in 2001, the BOR conducted a benchmark study that included an assessment of the demographics of the System’s enrollment. That benchmark study identified extensive gaps in postsecondary attainment between African-American men and peer groups of African-American women and other student populations.
In 2002, the BOR sought and received legislative funding to commission a study. The innovative project known as the African-American Male Initiative (AAMI®) was formed as a qualitative and quantitative research study at three institutions. The study’s purpose was to identify the barriers to college attendance and graduation for African-American males. The research and task force efforts culminated in Spring 2003, with the development of a comprehensive report and 15 specific recommendations for submission to the Board of Regents, both of which were formally adopted by the board.
In April 2003, the Board of Regents approved six grants to USG institutions to initiate or expand programs aimed at enhancing the participation of African-American males.
From 2003 through 2005, the board invested significantly in pilot programs serving African-American male middle school, high school and college students throughout Georgia. In addition, many USG institutions implemented self-funded efforts in support of AAMI’s goals.
Following the pilot program, AAMI evolved into a program focused on undergraduate student achievement and has been continuously funded by the BOR, along with generous contributions from the Lumina Foundation (2006 and 2009) and the United Way of Greater Atlanta (2013).
Data collected by the University System of Georgia’s Office of Research and Policy Analysis reflects significant increases in the enrollment, retention and graduation of African- American males within the USG. In fact, African-American male enrollment has climbed by 84.04 percent from 17,068 students in Fall 2002 (program inception), to 31,413 in Fall 2017. Further, the number of bachelor degrees conferred increased 137.94% from the inception of the program (1,294 in 2003 to 3,079 in 2018).