Mon., November 16, 2009 3:42pm (EST)

Colleges Work to Boost Graduation Rates for Black Men
By Noel Brown
Updated: 5 years ago

AUGUSTA, Ga.  —  
The Board of Regents started the African American Male Initiative to combat low numbers of black men getting bachelor's degrees.
The Board of Regents started the African American Male Initiative to combat low numbers of black men getting bachelor's degrees.
According to state officials, only 15 percent of black men who started college in 2002 earned bachelor’s degrees. That’s compared to 56 percent for all students attending state schools.

Augusta State University is one of 13 state schools trying to raise that number.

Karen Mobley is the director of student development at Augusta State. She hopes a new summer program will help encourage black men to seek academic advisement. That's something she says many of them don’t do.

"They don’t necessarily take the time to meet with their professors and discuss their needs with their professors and they will learn the process of meeting with faculty and understanding that the process isn’t as intimidating as it may seem," Mobley said.

Augusta State will also participate in a national research project by the Student African American Brotherhood.

The study will examine some of the social factors that lead to low college retention rates among black men.

The projects are being funded by the Lumina Foundation as part of the state’s African American Male Initiative. Schools are required to match the funds.