Men of color bring a variety of strengths and assets to their college experience. However, research to date indicates that three primary hurdles inhibit college completion for many male students of color:
Inadequate social, emotional, and campus support
Insufficient college preparation and academic achievement
Nonacademic barriers to persistence
Increased attention has been devoted to these challenges both inside and outside of academia, and postsecondary institutions around the country are joining networks to uncover best practices to improve outcomes for male students of color. Descriptive qualitative and quantitative research supports the development of culturally relevant strategies to address these barriers, but little causal evidence exists about their effectiveness.
To help provide causal evidence on what program features best support persistence and degree completion for men of color, MDRC is partnering with the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) through the Men of Color College Achievement (MoCCA) Project to refine and evaluate Academic Development 101 for Male Students of Color and the Male Student Success Initiative (ACDV-MSSI), a contextualized student success course combined with additional comprehensive services, such as mentoring and academic development workshops, that aims to increase enrollment, retention, and graduation for male students of color. ACDV-MSSI proposes to improve academic outcomes for male students of color by aiding them in developing a supportive network of CCBC faculty and administrators.
The MoCCA Project will conduct a randomized controlled trial impact study to detect the effects of ACDV-MSSI on student academic outcomes. The project will also employ a mixed-methods approach to assess the implementation of ACDV-MSSI and how it differs from CCBC’s other student support services; to understand the students’ backgrounds, experiences, and social support networks; and to analyze the program’s costs.