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USG Funds Partnerships to Enhance Black Male Participation in Preparation for Higher Education

Atlanta — November 10, 2005

Ten University System of Georgia (USG) institutions have been awarded grants from the Board of Regents ranging from $15,000 to $30,000 to implement programs aimed at preparing more African-American males to attend and graduate from college.

The grants mark the third round of funding awarded under the Board of Regents’ African-American Male Initiative (AAMI), and the first round of funding conducted through a competitive proposal process. The 10 winning proposals were selected from 19 entries that competed for $200,000 in grant funding.

Approved programs encompassed such strategies as increased enrollment of Black males in college-preparatory programs, summer bridge programs to provide exposure to college campuses, and learning communities to enhance the retention of Black males on USG college campuses, among other initiatives.

This latest round of funding builds upon earlier AAMI efforts funded over the past two years. Round I funding, conducted during the 2003-2004 academic year, supported new and existing campus programs aimed at enhancing the recruitment and retention of Black males. Round II funding, conducted during 2004-2005, supported efforts to develop institutional and community partnerships that met AAMI’s goals.

The Round III grants will support both new and existing programs that include mandatory community partners focused on achieving the Initiative’s goals, with one additional requirement - matching funds. Each USG institution receiving an AAMI 2005-2006 year grant must match their award amount, dollar for dollar. The project’s civic and community partners may contribute a portion, but not all, of the matching amount.

Associate Vice Chancellor For Media And Publications Arlethia Perry-Johnson, project director for the University System of Georgia’s African-American Male Initiative (AAMI), announced the 2005-2006 academic year grants. A seven-member review panel, comprised of USG and K-12 officials, evaluated how well the proposals met stated guidelines and articulated measurable strategies to enhance the recruitment, retention and graduation of Black males within System institutions.

“The number of institutions involved in the USG’s AAMI effort continues to expand around the state, and the goals and objectives are meeting our strategic and systemic expectations,” Perry-Johnson stated. “Our vision for this round of program funding is to foster institutional commitment and community ownership of this issue. We will be eager to evaluate the outcomes of this work and the impact it will have on increasing Black male participation in higher education.”

Since the USG’s African-American Male Initiative (AAMI) was launched, the enrollment of Black males in the University System has increased by 13 percent, from 17,068 students in Fall 2002 to 19,291 students in Fall 2005.

NOVEMBER 10, 2005

The following USG institutions, in the order of their award amounts, will receive AAMI funding:

  • Kennesaw State University: $30,000 to partner with two Cobb-County area high schools and two civic/education organizations in an effort to improve the college preparedness of students from the participating schools and the retention of the university’s African-American male students. The funding also will be used to establish a learning community for African-American males and to implement a KSU Summer Bridge Preparatory Program.
  • Coastal Georgia Community College: $25,000 to enhance the Coastal Georgia Minority Outreach Program, supported by the 14 Black Men of Glynn County. The 12-year old program is a college campus-based dropout intervention program for seventh grade African-American males with serious academic deficits. The program is focused on increasing the number of African-American males who graduate from high school prepared for college.
  • Georgia Perimeter College: $25,000 to expand the work of GPC’s Leadership Academy, partnering with the DeKalb Chapter of 100 Black Men of America, to increase the retention and graduation rates of the college’s African-American males through mentoring, peer tutoring and intensive counseling.
  • Augusta State University: $20,000 to increase the retention of first-time Black male freshmen enrolled at the university. The Richmond County Board of Education is a key partner in the program, which will include a summer bridge program to help entering freshmen adjust to college and other support efforts.
  • Fort Valley State University: $20,000 to partner with the Walton County Public School District to create DECLARE (Dual Enrollment and Collaborative Learning for Access to a Rewarding Education), aimed at improving the high-school graduation rates of Black males and their enrollment and retention in college.
  • Georgia College & State University: $20,000 for a program targeted to serve African-American males aged 12-14 years in Baldwin, Hancock and Putnam counties. Funds will help create an Academic Initiative for Males (AIM) Academy to help students complete high school and enter post-secondary education.
  • Georgia State University: $15,000 to support DREAMS (Developing Relationships that Enhance African-American Males’ Scholastic Success). University officials will partner with three Atlanta-area high schools, the Atlanta Housing Authority, and the Georgia State African-American male student organization Tighter Grip to target Black male students and parents in low-performing K-12 schools in metro Atlanta.
  • University of Georgia: $15,000 to support “Project Gentlemen on the Move,” a partnership effort between UGA and the Clarke County school district, targeting Black males to increase their enrollment and retention in high school college preparatory courses and their academic success in those courses.
  • University of West Georgia: $15,000 to support the Black Men With Initiative program targeting the retention, leadership development and graduation of Black males at the university. The grant also will develop programming with local middle and senior high schools to increase the graduation rate and post-secondary admission potential of African-American males from the western region of Georgia.
  • Valdosta State University: $15,000 to begin a new program, the HEROES Institute (Helping Everyone Reach Optimum Educational Success), targeting Valdosta High School ninth grade African-American males. Valdosta State Black male students will serve as mentors as the program seeks to increase college recruitment, retention and graduation of African-American males from the Valdosta-Lowndes County community.

The AAMI pilot programs were developed in conjunction with a report submitted to the Board of Regents in May 2003. That report resulted from a comprehensive qualitative and quantitative research study and reports produced by the University System of Georgia’s Task Force on Enhancing Access for African-American Males. The research project was funded by the Georgia General Assembly as part of the Board of Regents’ Fiscal Year 2003 Budget, and was aimed at identifying why low numbers of African-American males enrolled in and graduated from college. The goals of the report’s recommendations are being addressed and implemented through the University System of Georgia’s African-American Male Initiative.

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