FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Director of Communications
June 14, 2016 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids Community College has joined the Minority Male Community College Collaborative (M2C3) National Consortium on College Men of Color.
GRCC President Dr. Steven C. Ender said participation in the M2C3 Consortium will enhance the college's commitment to improving the success of historically underrepresented and underserved students, including men of color.
"We are excited to work with the M2C3 Consortium and our colleagues at community colleges across the nation," he said.
Despite programs designed to enhance outcomes for men of color, in the United States only 17 percent and 15 percent of black and Latino men, respectively, earn a certificate or degree, or transfer from a community college to a four-year institution in six years. Figures for men from other ethnic groups (e.g., Native American, Southeast Asian) also indicate need for improvement.
To combat this achievement gap, the M2C3 Consortium facilitates an exchange of ideas between community colleges across the nation on how best to serve men of color in our educational institutions. Community colleges convene to share their efforts and learn about new strategies for enhancing the success of men of color.
As an M2C3 member, GRCC will utilize:
- Access to M2C3 webinars on men on color.
- Access to the M2C3 virtual discussion board.
- Participation in information-sharing on promising practices with other community colleges.
- Participation in an annual working group meeting hosted in San Diego.
John Cowles, GRCC's dean of student success and retention, said input from the M2C3 Consortium will strengthen several successful programs at the college.
"Joining the National Consortium on College Men of Color aligns our work in student success with an emphasis on equity and inclusion for our male students of color," he said. "We have been engaged in this work for several years with our Alpha Beta Omega program for African-American male students, and we look forward to enhancing this work with other student populations."
GRCC's engagement in M2C3 will enhance professional development for faculty and staff, enable informed interventions for its current programs serving men of color, and inspire new initiatives addressing challenges facing these men.
“This innovative group of college leaders will be instrumental in implementing cutting-edge practices and policies to address the achievement gap facing underrepresented men,” said Dr. J. Luke Wood, co-director of M2C3.
Launched in February 2015, the M2C3 has already seen much success in information sharing between community colleges. An average of more than 1,000 consortium members participates in each webinar.
“It is inspiring to see educators collaborate and openly share innovative ideas for serving men of color,” said Frank Harris III, co-director of M2C3. “We look forward to the future of M2C3 and the future success of men of color.”
Grand Rapids Community College has been offering educational opportunities in West Michigan for 100 years. Established in 1914, the college offers degree courses, certification and training programs, and workshops and personal enrichment classes. Offerings are held on GRCC’s downtown Grand Rapids campus, and at several locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties, as well as through distance learning.