Nationally, African-American males complete college at much lower rates than their peers. This has become a major national crisis in higher education in particular at the community college level.
Statistics are showing that the number of African-American males enrolling in college is dwindling and is currently holding at 37 percent, as compared with 42 percent of African-American women, and 44.5 percent of white males. While the numbers have increased slightly over the years, other groups have outpaced African-American males in not only enrollment, but also retention.
There are numerous reasons that can be attributed to the low numbers of African-American men persisting at community colleges and attaining their educational goals. The lack of on-campus support services, low or no financial assistance, lack of transportation, legal issues, the need for childcare, under prepared for college, and most importantly the lack of positive role models are just to name a few.
AAMI was created as a response to the needs of African-American male students on the Florissant Valley and Forest Park campuses. The program began offering services to students in 2009 and is funded by generous grant for Predominately Black Initiations awarded by the United States Department of Education.
The goals of the program are to:
- Increase the persistence rate of African-American male students at St. Louis Community College;
- Increase the academic achievement levels of African-American male students at St. Louis Community College;
- Enhance the in-depth understanding and focus among faculty members and staff regarding the array of challenges faced by African-American males as they enter college.