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 26 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. For details, please refer to the report.
Since issuing the report and recommendations for action, AAMI programs have been launched at USG institutions throughout the state. Resulting best practices information has been collected and shared both within the University System, the larger higher education community and various organizations that continue to identify the USG’s program as a national model in this arena.
As of fiscal year 2017, African-American males enrolled in the University System of Georgia were awarded: 566 Associate’s degrees (9.02 percent of all 6,270 Associate’s degree awards); and earned 3,076 Bachelor’s degrees (7.70 percent of all 39,912 Bachelor’s degree awards). AAMI is committed to significantly increase the graduation rates and the number of degrees conferred upon African-American males in the USG.
This will be achieved through the implementation of customized programming that is aligned with the AAMI Integrated Program Model. The model includes the following four key components:
- Academic Skills Enrichment: Provides supplemental literacy, writing, math and study-skill activities to help pre-college students transition to college academic life during the summer and assist enrolled AAMI participants with RPG (retention, progression, and graduation) throughout the academic year.
- Student Support Services: Makes available internal and external resources, information and learning tools to enhance students’ academic and social successes.
- Adult & Peer Mentoring: Connects AAMI students to vetted adults and peers who encourage achievement, foster positive attitudes, as well as a sense of belonging through personal and academic support, while reinforcing RPG.
- Leadership Development: Provides multi-faceted professional and soft skills forums to help develop and strengthen participants’ leadership skills.
As such, our AAMI alumni will have a positive impact on generations to come by contributing to increasing our state and nation’s educational attainment levels and economic growth.