Bakersfield College Aims to Increase Retention and Graduation Rates for Black Men

In the 2010-11 academic year, the 638 Black students at Bakersfield College in California had a mean grade point average of 1.63. Only 17 of the 638 Black students on campus were awarded an associate’s degree.

As a result, the community college, which enrolls about a total of 15,000 students on three campuses, has launched a new program aimed at boosting the retention and graduation rates of Black men. The African-American Male Mentoring Project will bring local community leaders from business, education, law enforcement, and churches to campus to serve as mentors for Black male students. The effort will focus on helping African American men learn the skills necessary to succeed in college and in life.

The program was established by the Bakersfield College Student Government Association.


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