Initiative to bolster African-American male enrollment

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The Office of Institutional Diversity has launched the African American Male Initiative, a program targeted at enrolling, retaining and graduating African-American males.

Nationally, four in 10 African-American males graduate from college within six years, according to a 2012 study by the Education Trust.

UGA has some of the highest rates of retention and graduation of African-American males in the country, at 79 percent and 77 percent respectively. But African-American males account for less than 3 percent of the undergraduate population, and nearly twice as many African-American females are enrolled at UGA than males.

So the problem isn’t keeping African-American males in school and getting them to graduate but getting them here in the first place.

Initially, UGA will bring in prospective male African-American students for weekend events that will engage them with the campus environment. Next year, the program will be eligible for a grant of $30,000, which will fund additional recruitment activities.

The AAMI has existed on other college campuses in Georgia for many years and has led to marked improvements in enrollment, retention and graduation.

From 2002, when the initiative was founded, to 2011, African-American male enrollment in Georgia colleges and universities climbed from 17,068 to 30,847, an increase of more than 80 percent.

The program at UGA is co-directed by the Office of Institutional Diversity and the Division of Student Affairs. Athens community partners include organizations such as the Athens Alumni Chapter of the National Pan-Hellenic Council Inc. and the Athens Area Human Relations Council Inc.