Black Male College Explorers Program Bridges College and Community for Volusia County Youth
Bethune-Cookman University demonstrates its commitment to the community it serves through valuable community engagement. Bridging the gap between college and community is critical to the mission of historically black colleges and universities. Black College Male Explorers is a student pipeline program that supports this effort and the community in myriad ways. The initiative is an immersive experience for boys in grades sixth through twelfth that provides mentoring, tutoring and exposure to college and career exploration. Foremost, the program encourages students to focus on their futures and to raise their aspirations through educational and cultural enrichment activities that expand their options by offering opportunities to participate in activities to which they may not otherwise have access.“We support students in their holistic development from boys to men through tutoring and mentoring during the school yearwhen the need is greatest and providing a rich summer experience that pushes so-called ‘at risk’ students to risk it all and aim high,” said Director of Male Initiatives Jermaine McKinney.
Cultivating relationships with various industry leaders to aid students in preparation for careers is also a component. “Through these interventions, we hope to increase the number of males who graduate high school and completea bachelor's degree in college or a technical degree,” said McKinney. Duringthe school year, the program meets Monday through Thursday for tutorial services in all subject areas to reinforce, enhance and increase student academic achievement. Students meet on alternating Saturdays for enrichment.
The highlight of the program is the five-week summer academy that consists of workshops providing hands on experience in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. From May 28- June 30th, 77 students immersed themselves in a fun filled hands on learning experience. Throughout the year, participants were rewarded for their commitment to the program as well as their achievements and progress made based on grades, behavior and attendance in school, at home and in the program, 50 of which participated in the summer academy.
This summer, the students traveled to Memphis, Tennessee and Atlanta, Georgia where they toured historic sites to include: The Lorraine Motel, The University of Memphis and Le Moyne College, CNN in Atlanta, The Center for Civil and Human Rights and the Georgia Aquarium.
“The ultimate goal is to equip students with the confidence and resources necessary to excel and complete graduation and to create a pathway to higher education and other careers that will be sustainable throughout their lifetimes,” said McKinney.
The program is funded by The Florida Department of Education and has operated at B-CU since 1993. To learn more, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or at 386-481-2358.
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About Bethune Cookman University:
Founded in 1904 by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) today sustains her legacy of faith, scholarship and service through its relationship with the United Methodist Church and its commitment to academic excellence and civic engagement. B-CU offers 38 degrees on its main campus and online college. Located in Daytona Beach, B-CU is one of three private, historically black colleges in the state of Florida. The institution boasts a diverse and international faculty and student body of nearly 4,000. For more information, visit www.cookman.edu.